The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5)

Ah, Princess," Dallben said, with a furrowed smile, "a crown is more discomfort than adornment. If you have learned that, you have already learned much.

A lady doesn't insist on having her own way. Then, next thing you know, it all works out somehow, without one's even trying. I thought I'd never learn, though it's really quite easy once you get the knack.

A man's life weighs more then glory, and a price paid in blood is a heavy reckoning.

And thus did an Assistant Pig-Keeper become High King of Prydain.

As a boy, he had dreamed of taking a man's place among men; and, as a boy, had deemed himself well fit to do so. Now, amid the grizzled, battle-wise warriors, his strength seemed feeble, his knowledge clouded.

A shade of sorrow passed over Taliesin's face. 'There are those,' he said gently, 'who must first learn loss, despair, and grief. Of all paths to wisdom, this is the cruelest and longest. Are you one who must follow such a way? This even I cannot know. If you are, take heart nonetheless. Those who reach the end do more than gain wisdom. As rough wool becomes cloth, and crude clay a vessel, so do they change and fashion wisdom for others, and what they give back is greater than what they won.

At the end of their grim race, death might be the only prize.

Every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone.

Evil conquered?' said Gwydion. 'You have learned much, but learn this last and hardest of lessons. You have conquered only the enchantments of evil. That was the easiest of your tasks, only a beginning, not an ending. Do you believe evil itself to be so quickly overcome? Not so long as men still hate and slay each other, when greed and anger goad them. Against these even a flaming sword cannot prevail, but only that portion of good in all men's hearts whose flame can never be quenched.

For the deeds of a man, not the words of a prophecy, are what shape his destiny.

From a swift canter the powerful legs of Melynlas stretched to a gallop. The stallion's muscles heaved beneath him and Taran, sword raised, plunged into the sea of men. His head spun and he gasped as if drowning. He realized he was terrified.

Go back' Taran shouted at the top of his voice.'Have you lost your wits?'
Eilonwy, for it was she, half-halted. She had tucked her plaited hair under a leather helmet. The Princess of Llyr smiled cheerfully at him. 'I understand you're upset,' she shouted back, 'but that's no cause to be rude.' She galloped on.
For a time, Taran could not believe he had really seen her.

Good cannot come from evil.

Is there worse evil than that which goes in the mask of good?

It is beyond any man's wisdom to judge the secret heart of another... for in it are good and evil mixed.

It is beyond any man’s wisdom to judge the secret heart of another,” he said, “for in it are good and evil mixed.

It is harsh enough for each man to bear his own wound. But he who leads bears the wounds of all who follow him.

Long ago I yearned to be a hero without knowing, in truth, what a hero was. Now, perhaps, I understand it a little better. A grower of turnips or a shaper of clay, a Commot farmer or a king--every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone.
Once you told me that the seeking counts more than the finding. So, too, must the striving count more than the gain.

Of wisdom there are as many patterns as a loom can weave. Yours is the wisdom of good and kindly heart. Scarce it is and its worth all the greater.

Once," he added, "you told me that the seeking counts more than the finding. So, too, must the striving count more than the gain.

One way everything looks all right, the other way, it looks all wrong.

Our pride is not in fighting but in farming; In the work of our, hands not our blades. Never have we sought war. We come to the Banner of the white pig because it is the banner of our friend, Terran Wanderer.

Since no one has mentioned it,' said Eilonwy, 'it seems I'm not being asked to come along. Very well, I shan't insist.'

'You, too, have gained wisdom, Princess,' said Dallben. 'Your days on Mona were not ill-spent.'

'Of course,' Eilonwy went on, 'after you leave, the thought may strike me that it's a pleasent day for a short ride to go picking wildflowers which might be hard to find, especially since it's almost winter. Not that I'd be following you, you understand. But I might, by accident, lose my way, and mistakenly happen to catch up with you. By then, it would be too late for me to come home, through no fault of my own.

Some days are like that...and what's to be done about it? Nothing, alas, but hope things will brighten, which they very likely won't. But there you are, it's all one can do.

The tasks you set yourself are cruelly difficult. There is no certainty you will accomplish even one, and much risk you will fail in all of them. In either case, your efforts may well go unrewarded, unsung, forgotten. And at the end, like all mortals, you must face your death; perhaps without even a mound of honor to mark your resting place.

What you may seek and what you may find are not always one.

When prophecies give no help, men must find it themselves.

Yet long afterward, when all had passed away into distant memory, there were many who wondered whether King Taran, Queen Eilonwy, and their companions had indeed walked the earth, or whether they had been no more than dreams in a tale set down to beguile children. And, in time, only the bards knew the truth of it.