The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12)

A great man once said that right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Are you who I think you are?

As I am sure you know, when people say 'It's my pleasure,' they usually mean something along the lines of, 'There's nothing on Earth I would rather do less.' [...]

Blinded following the Blindfolded

But the three siblings were not born yesterday. Violet was born more than fifteen years before this particular Wednesday, and Klaus was born approximately two years after that, and even Sunny who had just passed out of babyhood, was not born yesterday. Neither were you, unless of course I am wrong, in which case, welcome to the world, little baby, and congratulations on learning to read so early in life.

But we can also ask for something we are much more likely to get, and that is to find a person or two, somewhere in our travels, who will tell us that we are noble enough, whether it is true or not. We can ask for someone who will say, “You are noble enough,” and remind us of our good qualities when we have forgotten them, or cast them into doubt.

...Calling a person 'sir' can often help you get what you want, unless of course the person is a woman.

Deciding on a safe answer to a question is like deciding on a safe ingredient in a sandwich, because if you make the wrong decisions you may find that something horrible is coming out of your mouth.

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch or you might simply get covered in sap and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors where it is harder to get a splinter.

...If only one had a little more time to do some important reading, all the secrets in the world would become clear.

I'm afraid that's the wicked way of the world. Everything's covered in smoke and mirrors.

In general, of course, a stranger who tries to get you into an automobile is anything but noble, and in general a person who quotes great American novelists is anything but treacherous, and in general a man who says you needn't worry about money, or a man who smokes cigarettes, is somewhere in between.

I suppose I'll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies.

It is always interesting to observe what people are wearing in the middle of the night, although there are more pleasant ways to make such observations without being accused of murder.

It is very difficult to make one's way in this world without being wicked at one time or another, when the world's way is so wicked to begin with.

It is very difficult to make one's way in this world without being wicked at one time or another, when the world's way is so wicked to being with.

Neither were you [born yesterday], unless of course I am wrong, in which case welcome to the world, little baby, and congratulations on learning to read so early in life.

Off with you" is a phrase used by people who lack the curtesy to say something more polite, such as, "if there's nothing else you require I must be going" or "I'm sorry but I'm going to have to ask you to leave, please" or even "excuse me but I believe you have mistaken my home for your own and my valuable belongings for yours and I must ask you to return the items in question to me and leave my home after untying me from this chair, as I'm unable to do it myself, if it's not too much trouble.

One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

Some people think destiny is something you cannot escape, such as death or a curdled cheesecake, both of which always turn up sooner or later.

Tea should be bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a two-edged sword.

Tell me what it is, or prepare to eat harpoon.

The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding--which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together--blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author . . .

The hallway was lined with numbered doors, odd numbers on one side and even numbers on the other, and large ornamental vases, too large to hold flowers and too small to hold spies.

The last safe place is safe no more.

There are some who say that you should forgive everyone, even the people who
have disappointed you immeasurably. There are others who say you should not forgive anyone, and should stomp off in a huff no matter how many times they apologize.
Of these two philosophies, the second one is of course much more fun, but it can also grow exhausting to stomp off in a huff every time someone has disappointed you, as everyone disappoints everyone eventually, and one can’t stomp off in a huff every minute of the day.

To be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forgo even ambition when the end is gained—who can say this is not greatness?

When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them, so they will not be embarrassed.

Wicked people never have time for reading,” Dewey said. “It's one of the reasons for their wickedness.

You’re noble enough, Baudelaires. That’s all we can ask for in this world.