Barbara Mertz quotes

  • Peculiar or not, it is my idea of pleasure. Why, why else do you lead this life you don't enjoy it? Don't talk of duty to me; you men always have some high-sounding excuse for indulging yourselves. You go gallivanting over the earth, climbing mountains, looking for the sources of the Nile; and expect women to sit dully at home embroidering. I embroider very badly. I think I would excavate rather well.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Home #Men #Thinking

  • It is easier to counterfeit old age than youth.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Age #Youth #Easier

  • I do hope you have some money. I'm getting tired of hitting people.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Tired #People #Hitting

  • Humor is an excellent method of keeping a tight rein on unproductive displays of emotion.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Emotion #Excellent #Method

  • The trouble with unknown enemies is that they are so difficult to identify.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Enemy #Trouble #Difficult

  • If all else fails, we will simply have to drug our attendants, overpower the guards, raise the oppressed peasants to arms, and take over the government.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Government #Drug #Arms

  • In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Cat #Silence #Bed

  • His masculinity was only too apparent
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Masculinity

  • I had refused Emerson's well-meant offers of assistance, knowing his efforts would be confined to moving the furniture to the wrong places and demanding how much longer the process would take.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Moving #Knowing #Effort

  • I will tell you a little secret about archaeologists, dear Reader. They all pretend t be very high-minded. They claim that their sole aim in excavation is to uncover the mysteries of the past and add to the store of human knowledge. They lie. What they really want is a spectacular discovery, so they can get their names in the newspapers and inspire envy and hatred in the hearts of their rivals.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Lying #Heart #Past

  • Ramses had always been fond of Helen, in his peculiar fashion, but if he had looked at me as he was looking at her, I would have sent for a constable.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Fashion #Peculiar #Helen

  • I have no writing habit. I work when I feel like it, and I work when I have to - mostly the latter.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Writing #Habit #Latter

  • When men start talking about 'honor', there is sure to be trouble ahead.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Men #Talking #Political

  • Noble causes have a deplorable effect on the morals of the persons who espouse them.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Political #Noble #Causes

  • He hesitated for a moment. Then he said softly, "I love you, Mother." He took my hand and kissed it, and folded my fingers round the stem of the rose. He had stripped it of its thorns.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Mother #Love You #Son

  • The opportunity to lecture had restored my good humor.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Teaching #Opportunity #Lectures

  • I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be the respected patriarch of an ordinary English family." "Very boring, Emerson.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Ordinary #Would Be #Sometimes

  • Now, Mama, Papa, and sir," said Ramses, "please withdraw to the farthest corner and crouch down with your backs turned. It is as I feared; we will never break through by this method. The walls are eight feet thick. Fortunately I brought along a little nitroglycerin--" "Oh, good Gad," shrieked Inspector Cuff.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Wall #Eight #Feet

  • You are softening toward the young rascal because he is ill, and because he says he likes cats." "It is an engaging quality, Emerson." "That depends," said Emerson darkly, "on how he likes them.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Cat #Quality #Likes

  • Is is difficult to be angry with a gentleman who pays you compliments, even impertinent compliments. Especially impertinent compliments.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Men #Gentleman #Pay

  • When one is striding bravely into the future one cannot watch one's footing.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Watches

  • The combination of physical strength and moral sincerity combined with tenderness of heart is exactly what is wanted in a husband.--Ameila Peabody
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Husband #Heart #Moral

  • Most men are reasonably useful in a crisis. The difficulty lies in convincing them that the situation has reached a critical point
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Lying #Men #Crisis

  • No woman really wants a man to carry her off; she only wants him to want to do it.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Funny #Women #Want

  • The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal - or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Cat #Way #Treats

  • Marriage, in my view, should be a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Marriage #Views #Stalemate

  • I would not be at all surprised to find that it was for gold that Cain committed the first murder. (It happened a very long time ago, and Holy Writ, though no doubt divinely inspired, is a trifle careless about details. God is not a historian).
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Long #Doubt #Gold

  • Many persons lead lives of crushing boredom.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Crush #Boredom #Persons

  • I do not scruple to employ mendacity and a fictitious appearance of female incompetence when the occasion demands it.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Demand #Female #Appearance

  • I have learned that particularly clever ideas do not always stand up under close scrutiny.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Clever #Ideas #Scrutiny

  • Another dead body. Every year it is the same. Every year, another dead body...
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Years #Body

  • I would never have supposed that inexperienced girl was capable of such cold-blooded, calculating manipulation!
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Girl #Manipulation #Cold

  • I don't think she realized how much she cared for him, or he for her, until the end. Hasn't someone said a woman may be known by the men who love her enough to die for her? (If they haven't, I claim the credit myself.)
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Men #Thinking #Credit

  • ..he continues to cling to the forlorn hope that I will turn into one of those swooning females...and fling myself squeeling at him whenever anything happens. Like all men, he clings to his illusions.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Men #Swooning #Female

  • If you take a man by surprise, and behave with sufficient arrogance, he will generally do what you ask. -Emerson
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Men #Arrogance #Surprise

  • The cat Horus shot out from under the table and headed for the door, his ears flattened and his tail straight out. There he encountered Abdullah, who had been waiting for us on the verandah and who had, I supposed, been alarmed by Emerson's shouts and hurried to discover what disaster had prompted them. The cat got entangled in Abdullah's skirts and a brief interval of staggering (by Abdullah), scratching (by Horus) and swearing (by both parties) ensued before Horus freed himself and departed.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Party #Cat #Doors

  • There are too many people in the world as it is, but the supply of ancient manuscripts is severely limited.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #People #World #Ancient

  • Sekhmet crawled onto Ramses's lap and began to purr. 'The creature oozes like a furry slug,' said Ramses, eyeing it without favor.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Lap #Slugs #Favors

  • Nefret had always had an uncanny ability to read his thoughts. 'Did she cry?' she asked sweetly. 'And then you kissed her? You shouldn't have done that. I'm sure you meant well, but kissing someone out of pity is always a mistake.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Mistake #Kissing #Done

  • Who are we really? Combinations of common chemicals that perform mechanical actions for a few years before crumbling back into the original components? Fresh new souls, drawn at random for some celestial cupboard where God keeps an unending supply?Or the same soul, immortal and eternal, refurbished and reused through endless lives, by that thrifty Housekeeper? In Her wisdom and benevolence She wipes off the memory slates, as part of the cleaning process, because if we could remember all the things we have experienced in earlier lives, we might object to risking it again.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Memories #Years #Soul

  • Getting an idea for a book is not the problem, but you need 300 ideas - an idea a page.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Book #Ideas #Needs

  • That's maturity-when you realize that you've finally arrived at a state of ignorance as profound as your parents.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Ignorance #Maturity #Profound

  • I can do a book in three months if I spend all day, seven days a week at it and, in fact, I work better that way.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Book #Three #Way

  • I do, however, think it would be difficult to write books I don't like to read.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Book #Writing #Thinking

  • I am so tired of ruggedly handsome heroes. I don't know too many ruggedly handsome people who are necessarily nice people. In fact, the beautiful people have a big handicap because they rely too much on their appearance and don't bother to become interesting.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Beautiful #Nice #Hero

  • I've been reading ghost stories ever since I could read. I'm immensely curious about ghosts and UFOs and all that stuff, but I'm a very hard-headed person.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Reading #Ghost Stories #Stuff

  • The only way to do it is to do it: by writing, writing, writing.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Writing #Way

  • Sometimes the characters develop almost without your knowing it. You find them doing things you hadn't planned on, and then I have to go back to page 42 and fix things. I'm not recommending it as a way to write. It's very sloppy, but it works for me.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Writing #Character #Knowing

  • Dogs can be made to feel guilty about anything, including the sins of their owners. Cats refuse to take the blame for anything - including their own sins.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Dog #Cat #Blame

  • I knew the answer, and--of course--so did Ramses. He has superb breath control and always gets in ahead of me.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Answers #Superb

  • There was no warning, not even a knock. The door flew open, and he forgot his present aches and pains in anticipation of what lay in store. The figure that stood in the door was not that of an enemy. It was worse. It was his mother.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Mother #Pain #Doors

  • ...Nefret said with a gusty sigh, 'Well, that's done it. We may as well join in, Ramses, family arguments are the favorite form of amusement here and this looks like being a loud one.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Looks #Done #Amusement

  • Since I am not as stupid as my children believe I am, I had immediately realized this might be a ruse, but I was not at all averse to a confrontation. In fact, I had been hoping for some such thing.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Children #Stupid #Believe

  • It's not unsporting to thrash a cowardly cad,' said Simmons. 'Everyone knows you don't fight like a gentleman.' 'That might be called an oxymoron,' Ramses said. 'Oh--sorry. Bad form to use long words. Look it up when you get home.' The poor devil didn't know how to fight, like a gentleman or otherwise.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Sorry #Home #Fighting

  • Emerson,' I said, choosing my words with care, 'it is a sheer drop from the cleft down to the base of the cliff. If you are bent on breaking your arm or your leg or your neck or all three, find a place closer to home so we won't have to carry you such a distance.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Distance #Home #Care

  • I disapprove of matrimony as a matter of principle.... Why should any independent, intelligent female choose to subject herself to the whims and tyrannies of a husband? I assure you, I have yet to meet a man as sensible as myself! (Amelia Peabody)
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Husband #Independent #Intelligent

  • It is much more sensible to be an optimist instead of a pessimist, for if one is doomed to disappointment, why experience it in advance?
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Disappointment #Pessimist #Optimist

  • Your trousers are on fire. I would have told you, but you so dislike advice...
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Fire #Advice #Amelia Peabody

  • A lady cannot be blamed if a master criminal takes a fancy to her.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Criminals #Fancy #Masters

  • Everything has happened before - not once, but over and over again. We may not be able to solve our problems through what are pompously called "the lessons of history," but at least we should be able to recognize the issues and perhaps avoid some of the solutions that have failed in the past. And we can take heart in our own dilemma by realizing that other people in other times have survived worse.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Heart #Past #Issues

  • love has a very dulling effect on the brain
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Brain

  • But the dust! And the clutter! My housewifely and scholarly instincts were equally offended.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Dust #Instinct #Scholarly

  • The only people who are not in awe of Emerson's powerful voice and well-nigh superhuman strength are the members of his own family. He is aware of this, and often complains about it; so from time to time I like to put on a little show of being intimidated. 'Proceed, my dear,' I said apologetically.
    -- Barbara Mertz

    #Powerful #Voice #People