“You must play the serpent.”

(Pullman 250)
“Wait a minute, give me some sort of structure here. What are you saying? You saying she’s confirmed what we know already, or that she’s telling us something new?” (237).
“I’m trying to do with
words what I’ve done
before with a state of
mind, but…” (247)
“You have to be capable &emdash; Where’s that quotation…

…’Capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.’

You have to get into that state of mind. That’s from the poet Keats…” (88).
…trembling on the brink of understanding… (93)
“Argue with anything else, but don’t argue with your own nature” (320).
“For a human being, nothing comes naturally…we have to learn everything we do” (298).
…danger could look friendly, and treachery smiled and smelled sweet… (160).
“Both the Oblation Board and the Specters of Indifference are bewitched by this truth about human beings: that innocence is different from experience” (280).
“Better go and see, “Will whispered. “I’ll go first.”
“I ought to go first,” said Lyra, “seeing it’s my fault.”
“Seeing it’s your fault, you got to do what I say.” (172)

…the strangest of pleasures: that of offering eager obedience to a stronger power that was wholly right (294).
“Be silent! You don’t want &emdash; you don’t want…you have no choice! Listen to me, because time is short . . . It’s not only the knife that has to cut, it’s your own mind” (182).
And then Serafina understood something for which the witches had no word: it was the idea of pilgrimage. She understood why these beings would wait for thousands of years and travel vast distances in order to be close to something important, and how they would feel differently for the rest of time, having been briefly in its presence (276).
Both of them sat silent on the moss-covered rock in the slant of sunlight through the old pines and thought
how many tiny chances

had conspired to bring them to this place. Each of those chances might have gone a different way (265).
“Relax. Don’t push. This is a subtle knife, not a heavy sword” (183).
“So much for opening.
Now you must learn to close.”
“For this you need your fingers…one hand will do. Feel for the edge as you felt with the knife to begin with. You won’t find it unless you put your soul into your fingertips” (185).
Ruta Skadi lived so brilliantly in her nerves that she set up a responding thrill in the nerves of anyone close by (270).
“You think things have to be possible?” (322)
St Augustine had said, “Angel is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is spirit; if you seek the name of their office, it is angel; from what they are, spirit, from what they do, angel” (249).
Will slept uneasily, plagued with dreams that were filled with anxiety and with sweetness in equal measure, so that he struggled to wake up and yet longed for sleep again (222).
The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman. His Dark Materials: Book II. Previously posted are quotes from Book I, The Golden Compass.

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