The Saxon Stories Quotes

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Destiny is all, Ravn liked to tell me, destiny is everything. He would even say it in English, “Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
We all suffer from dreams.
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
Wyrd bið ful āræd. Fate is inexorable.
Bernard Cornwell (Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9))
The preachers tell us that pride is a great sin, but the preachers are wrong. Pride makes a man, it drives him, it is the shield wall around his reputation... Men die, they said, but reputation does not die.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
A leader leads,” Ragnar said, “and you can’t ask men to risk death if you’re not willing to risk it yourself.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
There is such joy in chaos. Stow all the world's evils behind a door and tell men that they must never, ever, open the door, and it will be opened because there is pure joy in destruction.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Why do we fight?" he asked. "Because we were born.
Bernard Cornwell (The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5))
Life is simple," I said. "Ale, women, sword, and reputation. Nothing else matters.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
We are all lonely and all seek a hand to hold in the darkness. It is not the harp, but the hand that plays it.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
Laughter in battle. That was what Ragnar had taught me, to take joy from the fight.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
Words are like breath," she said, "you say them and they're gone. But writing traps them.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
What happens to you, Uhtred, is what you make happen. You will grow, you will learn the sword, you will learn the way of the shield wall, you will learn the oar, you will give honor to the gods, and then you will use what you have learned to make your life good or bad.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems to be happening, when no smoke betrays a burned town or homestead and few tears are shed for the newly dead. I have learned not to trust those times, because if the world is at peace then it means someone is planning war.
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
All those separate people were a part of my life, strings strung on the frame of Uhtred, and though they were separate they affected one another and together they would make the music of my life.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
Five things make a man happy,” I told him, “a good ship, a good sword, a good hound, a good horse, and a woman.” “Not a good woman?” Finan asked, amused. “They’re all good,” I said, “except when they’re not, and then they’re better than good.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pagan Lord (The Saxon Stories, #7))
I'm in pain all the time,' I said, 'and if I gave into it then I'd do nothing.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
Love is a dangerous thing. It comes in disguise to change our life... Lust is the deceiver. Lust wrenches our lives until nothing matters except the one we think we love, and under that deceptive spell we kill for them, give all for them, and then, when we have what we have wanted, we discover that it is all an illusion and nothing is there. Lust is a voyage to nowhere, to an empty land, but some men just love such voyages and never care about the destination. Love is a voyage too, a voyage with no destination except death, but a voyage of bliss.
Bernard Cornwell (Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4))
If a man can’t remember the laws,” Ragnar said, “then he’s got too many of them.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
Only the gods tell him what to do, and you should beware of men who take their orders from the gods.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I hated Alfred. He was a miserable, pious, tight-fisted king who distrusted me because I was no Christian, because I was a northerner, and because I had given him his kingdom back at Ethandun. And as reward he had given me Fifhaden. Bastard.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
...victory does not come to men who listen to their fears.
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
I wondered why the gods no longer came to earth. It would make belief so much easier.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories #8))
Wyrd biõ ful ãræd,” I said. Fate is fate. It cannot be changed or cheated.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Start your killers young, before their consciences are grown. Start them young and they will be lethal.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
We live in a world where the strongest win, and the strongest must expect to be disliked.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
Wyrd bið ful aræd
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
I have learned that it is one thing to kill in battle, to send a brave man's soul to the corpse hall of the gods, but quite another to take a helpless man's life...
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
So long as we remember names, so long those people live.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
So we all die?' "No, no, no! We fight them!' 'How do you fight a dragon?' 'With prayer, boy, with prayer.' 'So we do all die
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
I had the arrogant confidence of a man born to battle. I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred, son of another Uhtred, and we had not held Bebbanburg and its lands by whimpering at altars. We are warriors.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
The gods are capricious, and I was about to amuse them. And Alfred was right. I was a fool.
Bernard Cornwell (The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5))
I shook my head. ‘Killing isn’t woman’s work,’ I said. ‘Why not?’ she asked. ‘We give life, can’t we take it too?
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
King Edmund of East Anglia is now remembered as a saint, as one of those blessed souls who live forever in the shadow of God. Or so the priests tell me. In heaven, they say, the saints occupy a privileged place, living on the high platform of God’s great hall where they spend their time singing God’s praises. Forever. Just singing. Beocca always told me that it would be an ecstatic existence, but to me it seems very dull. The Danes reckon their dead warriors are carried to Valhalla, the corpse hall of Odin, where they spend their days fighting and their nights feasting and swiving, and I dare not tell the priests that this seems a far better way to endure the afterlife than singing to the sound of golden harps. I once asked a bishop whether there were any women in heaven. “Of course there are, my lord,” he answered, happy that I was taking an interest in doctrine. “Many of the most blessed saints are women.” “I mean women we can hump, bishop.” He said he would pray for me. Perhaps he did.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
You're a bastard," I said. "Uhtred," he began, but could find nothing more to say. "You're a piece of weasel-shit," I said, "you're an earsling." "I'm a king," he said, trying to regain his dignity. "So you're a royal piece of weasel-shit. An earsling on a throne.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
Were the Romans Christians?” I asked him, remembering my curiosity at the Roman farm. “Not always,” Ravn said. “They had their own gods once, but they gave them up to become Christians and after that they knew nothing but defeat.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
The poets, when they speak of war, talk of the shield wall, they talk of the spears and arrows flying, of the blade beating on the shield, of the heroes who fall and the spoils of the victors, but I was to discover that war was really about food. About feeding men and horses. About finding food. The army that eats wins.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
Religion makes strange bedfellows.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Wyrd bið ful āræd. Fate is inexorable. We are given power and we lose it.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
We should know who they are," I said, "before we kill them. That's just being polite.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
It takes a weak man to prove his strength by striking a woman.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
Did you become a Christian in your nunnery?' I asked her. 'Of course not.' she said scornfully. 'They didn't mind?' 'I gave them silver.' 'Then they didn't mind.' I said. 'I don't think any Dane is a real Christian.' she told me. 'Not even your brother?' 'We have many gods,' she said, 'and the Christian god is just another one. I'm sure that's what Guthred thinks. What's the Christian god's name? A nun did tell me, but I've forgotten.' 'Jehovah.' There you are, then. Odin, Thor and Jehovah. Does he have a wife?' 'No.' 'Poor Jehovah.' she said.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
He wanted to improve the world, while I did not believe and never have believed that we can improve the world, just merely survive as it slides into chaos.
Bernard Cornwell (The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5))
I had no idea what I was speaking of, but only knew I must sound confident. Fear might work on a man, but confidence fights against fear. Odda
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
There comes a moment in life when we see ourselves as others see us. I suppose that is part of growing up, and it is not always comfortable. Eanflæd,
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Enemies come soon enough in a mans life,' he told me, 'you don't need to seek them out
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
When rumours fly, when false tales are being told, be the storyteller.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
Arrows of insight have to be winged by the feathers of speculation.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
You will not fight in the shield wall,” my father said. “No, Father.” “Only men can stand in the shield wall,” he said, “but you will watch, you will learn, and you will discover that the most dangerous stroke is not the sword or ax that you can see, but the one you cannot see, the blade that comes beneath the shields to bite your ankles.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
‎"He sang the song of the sword, keening as he fed his blade, and Rollo, standing thigh-deep in the creek, ax swinging in murderous blows, blocked the enemy's escape. The Frisians, transported from confidence to bowel-loosening fear, began to drop their weapons.
Bernard Cornwell (The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5))
To let you stay here until everyone has forgotten you. Until your only legacy are the lurid woodcuts and terrifying nighttime stories of the Saxons. You will fade into a monster, a myth.
Kiersten White (Bright We Burn (The Conqueror's Saga, #3))
War is fought in mystery. The truth can take days to travel, and ahead of truth flies rumor, and it is ever hard to know what is really happening, and the art of it is to pluck the clean bone of fact from the rotting flesh of fear and lies.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I liked those tales. They were better than my stepmother’s stories of Cuthbert’s miracles. Christians, it seemed to me, were forever weeping and I did not think Woden’s worshippers cried much.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I had fought so long and so hard for my home. It had been stolen from me when I was a child, and I had fought the length and breadth of Britain to regain it. And now I must fight for Bebbanburg again. We would ride for home.
Bernard Cornwell (War Lord (The Saxon Stories, #13))
- Senhor Uhtred! - Como sempre, Willibald reagiu à minha provocação. - Esse peixe - ele apontou o dedo trêmulo na direção dos ossos - foi um dos dois que Nosso Senhor usou para alimentar 5 mil pessoas! - O outro devia ser um peixe incrivelmente grande - respondi. - O que era? Uma baleia?
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
I am no Christian. These days it does no good to confess that, for the bishops and abbots have too much influence and it is easier to pretend to a faith than to fight angry ideas. I was raised a Christian, but at ten years old, when I was taken into Ragnar’s family, I discovered the old Saxon gods who were also the gods of the Danes and of the Norsemen, and their worship has always made more sense to me than bowing down to a god who belongs to a country so far away that I have met no one who has ever been there. Thor and Odin walked our hills, slept in our valleys, loved our women and drank from our streams, and that makes them seem like neighbours. The other thing I like about our gods is that they are not obsessed with us. They have their own squabbles and love affairs and seem to ignore us much of the time, but the Christian god has nothing better to do than to make rules for us. He makes rules, more rules, prohibitions and commandments, and he needs hundreds of black-robed priests and monks to make sure we obey those laws. He strikes me as a very grumpy god, that one, even though his priests are forever claiming that he loves us. I have never been so stupid as to think that Thor or Odin or Hoder loved me, though I hope at times they have thought me worthy of them.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
Someone wise, I forget who, said we must leave our children to fate.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories #8))
An army, I learned in time, needs a head. It needs one man to lead it, but give an army two leaders and you halve its strength.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
You should always plan your battles form the enemy's point of view.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
Our ancestors,” he went on after a while, “took this land. They took it and made it and held it. We do not give up what our ancestors gave us. They came across the sea and they fought here, and they built here and they’re buried here. This is our land, mixed with our blood, strengthened with our bone. Ours!” He was angry, but he was often angry. He glowered at me, as if wondering whether I was strong enough to hold this land of Northumbria that our ancestors had won with sword and spear and blood and slaughter.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I could imagine Cnut sitting there and thinking that I must join him soon, and we would raise a horn of ale together. There is no pain in Valhalla, no sadness, no tears, no broken oaths.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
Priests come to my home beside the northern sea where they find an old man, and they tell me I am just a few paces from the fires of hell. I only need repent, they say, and I will go to heaven and live forevermore in the blessed company of the saints. And I would rather burn till time itself burns out.
Bernard Cornwell (Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4))
In madness lies change, in change is opportunity, and in opportunity are riches.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
It's better to make the wrong choice," my father had continued, "than to make no choice at all.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
I remember Ragnar laughing one day. "It is so kind of the Christians! They put their wealth in one building and mark it with a great cross! It makes life so easy.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
No, fate is difficult. Is all ordained? Foreknowledge is not fate, and we may choose our paths, yet fate says we may not choose them. So if fate is real, do we have choice?
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
I had learned to hide my soul, or perhaps I was confused. Northumbrian or Dane? Which was I? What did I want to be?
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred, and this is the tale of a blood feud. It is a tale of how I will take from my enemy what the law says is mine. And it is the tale of a woman and of her father, a king. He was my king and all that I have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live, and the swords of my men, all came from Alfred, my king, who hated me.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
But deep under the earth, where the corpse serpent gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree of life, there are three spinners. Three women who make our fate. We might believe we make choices, but in truth our lives are in the spinners' fingers. They make our lives, and destiny is everything. The Danes know that, and even the Christians know it, Wyrd biõ ful araed, we Saxons say, fate is inexorable.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
And next morning, as my stepmother wept on the ramparts of the High Gate, and under a blue, clean sky, we rode to war. Two hundred and fifty men went south, following our banner of the wolf’s head. That was in the year 867, and it was the first time I ever went to war. And I have never ceased.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
There is a thing called the blood feud. All societies have them, even the West Saxons have them, despite their vaunted piety. Kill a member of my family and I shall kill one of yours, and so it goes on, generation after generation or until one family is all dead, and Kjartan had just wished a blood feud on himself. I did not know how, I did not know where, I could not know when, but I would revenge Ragnar. I swore it that night.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I was screaming and hitting at him, but he thought it all so very funny, and he draped me belly down on the saddle in front of him and then he spurred into the chaos to continue the killing. And that was how I met Ragnar, Ragnar the Fearless, my brother’s killer, and the man whose head was supposed to grace a pole on Bebbanburg’s ramparts, Earl Ragnar.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
When those blades cut, they cause tears that feed the well of Urdr that lies beside the world tree, and the well gives the water that keeps Yggdrasil alive, and if Yggdrasil dies then the world dies, and so the well must be kept filled and for that there must be tears.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pagan Lord (The Saxon Stories, #7))
There’s war between the gods, Uhtred, war between the Christian god and our gods, and when there is war in Asgard the gods make us fight for them on earth.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
You’re the son of a king,’ I told him, ‘and one day you might be a king yourself. Life and death will be your gifts, so learn how to give them, boy.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8))
We had to fight, because to decline battle was a defeat.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
This isn't just a war over land, it's a war about God. And Alfred...is Christ's servant...
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
The great prophetic work of the modern world is Goethe’s Faust, so little appreciated among the Anglo-Saxons. Mephistopheles offers Faust unlimited knowledge and unlimited power in exchange for his soul. Modern man has accepted that bargain. . . . I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand. Faust’s error was an aspiration to understand, and therefore master, things which, by God or by nature, are set beyond the human compass. He could only achieve this at the cost of making the achievement pointless. Once again, it is exactly what modern man has done.
Robert Aickman (The Collected Strange Stories Of Robert Aickman: I)
These word-stringers make nothing, grow nothing, kill no enemies, catch no fish, and raise no cattle. They just take silver in exchange for words, which are free anyway. It is a clever trick, but in truth they are about as much use as priests.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
We are almost men, not quite warriors, and on some fateful day we meet an enemy for the first time and we hear the chants of battle, the threatening clash of blades on shields, and we begin to learn that the poets are wrong and that the proud songs lie.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
Pride, I suppose, is the most treacherous of virtues. The Christians call it a sin, but no poet sings of men who have no pride. Christians say the meek will inherit the earth, but the meek inspire no songs.
Bernard Cornwell (The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories #8))
The world began in chaos and it will end in chaos. The gods brought the world into existence, and they will end it when they fight among themselves, but in between the chaos of the world's birth and the chaos of the world's death is order, and order is made by oaths, and oaths bind us like the buckles of a harness.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Beware the man who loves battle. Ravn had told me that only one man in three or perhaps one man in four is a real warrior and the rest are reluctant fighters, but I was to learn that only one man in twenty is a lover of battle. Such men were the most dangerous, the most skillful, the ones who reaped the souls, and the ones to fear.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
You do like them thin, don't you?" Pyrlig said, amused. "Now I like them meaty as well-fed heifers! Give me a nice dark Briton with hips like a pair of ale barrels and I'm a happy priest. Poor Hild. Thin as a ray of sunlight, she is, but I pity a Dane who crosses her path today.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Toquei Bafo de Serpente de novo e me pareceu que ela teve um tremor. Algumas vezes eu achava que a espada cantava. Era um canto fino, apenas entreouvido, um som penetrante, a canção da espada que desejava sangue; a canção da espada.
Bernard Cornwell (Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4))
Men do not relish the shield wall. They do not rush to death's embrace. You look ahead and see the overlapping shields, the helmets, the glint of axes and spears and swords, and you know you must go into the reach of those blades, into the place of death, and it takes time to summon the courage, to heat the blood, to let the madness overtake caution.
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
E fiquei olhando para aquela costa, sabendo que o destino iria me trazer de volta, e toquei o punho de Bafo de Serpente, porque a espada também tinha um destino e eu sabia que ela voltaria a este local. Este era um local para minha espada cantar.
Bernard Cornwell (Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4))
Christians like to dream of the perfect world, a place where there is no fighting, where sword-blades are hammered into plowshares, and where the lion, whatever that is, sleeps with the lamb. It is a dream. There has always been war and there will always be war. So long as one man wants another man’s wife, or another man’s land, or another man’s cattle, or another man’s silver, so long will there be war. And so long as one priest preaches that his god is the only god or the better god there will be war.
Bernard Cornwell (War of the Wolf (The Saxon Stories, #11))
anthropologists, while pretending to scorn the biblical story of the origin of man and his distribution over the earth, continue to use such terms as “Hamitic” for the Ethiopians and “Semitic” for the Jews. These terms, if they have any meaning at all, designate only language groups, precisely as Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Arab. It is as nonsensical to talk of a Jewish race as it is to talk of a Christian one.
J.A. Rogers (World's Great Men of Color, Volume I)
Tell me how Gisela can be married to a man she's never met?' Aidan glanced across at Guthred as if expecting help from the king, but Guthred was still motionless, so Aidan had to confront me alone. 'I stood beside her in Lord Ælfric's place,' he said, 'so in the eyes of the church she is married.' 'Did you hump her as well?' I demanded, and the priests and monks hissed their disapproval. 'Of course not.' Aidan said, offended. 'If no one's ridden her,' I said, 'then she's not married. A mare isn't broken until she's saddled and ridden. Have you been ridden?' I asked Gisela. 'Not yet.' she said. 'She is married.' Aidan insisted. 'You stood at the altar in my uncle's place,' I said, 'and you call that a marriage?' 'It is.' Beocca said quietly. 'So if I kill you,' I suggested to Aidan, ignoring Beocca, 'she'll be a widow?
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
He sounded pathetic and he knew it, but he had been driven to this humiliation by love. A woman can do that. They have power. We might all say that the oath to our lord is the strong oath that guides our lives, the oath that binds us and rules all the other oaths, but few men would not abandon every oath under the sun for a woman. I have broken oaths. I am not proud of that, but almost every oath I broke was for a woman.
Bernard Cornwell (Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9))
It will never end. Till the world ends in the chaos of Ragnarok, we will fight for our women, for our land, and for our homes. Some Christians speak of peace, of the evil of war, and who does not want peace? But then some crazed warrior comes screaming his god's filthy name into your face and his only ambitions are to kill you, to rape your wife, to enslave your daughters, and take your home, and so you must fight.
Bernard Cornwell (The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10))
The priests are like Offa,” I said. “They want us to be their dogs, well schooled, grateful and obedient, and why? So they can get rich. They tell you pride is a sin? You’re a man! It’s like telling you breathing is a sin, and once they’ve made you feel guilty for daring to breathe, they’ll give you absolution in return for a handful of silver.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pagan Lord (The Saxon Stories, #7))
Os guerreiros defendem o lar, defendem as crianças, defendem as mulheres, defendem a colheita e matam os inimigos que vêm roubar essas coisas. Sem guerreiros a terra seria um lugar devastado, desolado e repleto de lamentos. No entanto, a verdadeira recompensa de um guerreiro não é a prata e o ouro que ele pode ganhar nos braços, e sim a reputação, e é por isso que existem poetas.
Bernard Cornwell (Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4))
I think only one man in three is a warrior, and sometimes not even that many, but in our army, Uhtred, every man is a fighter. If you do not want to be a warrior you stay home in Denmark. You till the soil, herd sheep, fish the sea, but you do not take to the ships and become a fighter. But here in England? Every man is forced to the fight, yet only one in three or maybe only one in four has the belly for it. The rest are farmers who just want to run. We are wolves fighting sheep.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
I put my hands over Saint Cuthbert's fingers and I could feel the big ruby ring under my own fingers, and I gave the jewel a twitch just to see whether the stone was loose and would come free, but it seemed well fixed in its setting. "I swear to be your man," I said to the corpse, "and to serve you faithfully." I tried to shift the ring again, but the dead fingers were stiff and the ruby did not move.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
I swear to be your man," I said, looking into his pale eyes, "until your family is safe." He hesitated. I had given him the oath, but I had qualified it. I had let him know that I would not remain his man for ever, but he accepted my terms. He should have kissed me on both cheeks, but that would have disturbed Æthelflaed and so he raised my right hand and kissed the knuckles, then kissed the crucifix. "Thank you," he said. The truth, of course, was that Alfred was finished, but, with the perversity and arrogance of foolish youth, I had just given him my oath and promised to fight for him. And all, I think, because a six-year-old stared at me. And she had hair of gold.
Bernard Cornwell (The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2))
Oh the madness of battle! We fear it, we celebrate it, the poets sing of it, and when it fills the blood like fire it is a real madness. It is joy! All the terror is swept away, a man feels he could live for ever, he sees the enemy retreating, knows he himself is invincible, that even the gods would shrink from his blade and his bloodied shield. And I was still keening that mad song, the battle song of slaughter, the sound that blotted out the screams of dying men and the crying of the wounded. It is fear, of course, that feeds the battle madness, the release of fear into savagery. You win in the shield wall by being more savage than your enemy, by turning his savagery back into fear.
Bernard Cornwell (Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9))
I see a time when the farmer will not need to live in a lonely cabin on a lonely farm. I see the farmers coming together in groups. I see them with time to read, and time to visit with their fellows. I see them enjoying lectures in beautiful halls, erected in every village. I see them gather like the Saxons of old upon the green at evening to sing and dance. I see cities rising near them with schools, and churches, and concert halls, and theaters. I see a day when the farmer will no longer be a drudge and his wife a bond slave, but happy men and women who will go singing to their pleasant tasks upon their fruitful farms. When the boys and girls will not go west nor to the city; when life will be worth living. In that day the moon will be brighter and the stars more glad, and pleasure and poetry and love of life come back to the man who tills the soil.
Hamlin Garland (A Spoil Of Office: A Story Of The Modern West (1897))
It is not difficult to be a lord, a jarl, or even a king, but it is difficult to be a leader. Most men want to follow, and what they demand of their leader is prosperity. We are the ring-givers, the gold-givers. We give land, we give silver, we give slaves, but that alone is not enough. They must be led. Leave men standing or sitting for days at a time and they get bored, and bored men make trouble. They must be surprised and challenged, given tasks they think beyond their abilities. And they must fear. A leader who is not feared will cease to rule, but fear is not enough. They must love too. When a man has been led into the shield wall, when an enemy is roaring defiance, when the blades are clashing on shields, when the soil is about to be soaked in blood, when the ravens circle in wait for the offal of men, then a man who loves his leader will fight better than a man who merely fears him. At that moment we are brothers, we fight for each other, and a man must know that his leader will sacrifice his own life to save any one of his men. I learned all that from Ragnar, a man who led with joy in his soul, though he was feared too. His great enemy, Kjartan, knew only how to lead by fear, and Ragnall was the same. Men who lead by fear might become great kings and might rule lands so great that no man knows their boundaries, but they can be beaten too, beaten by men who fight as brothers.
Bernard Cornwell (Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9))