William Goldman

It was only when the giant got halfway down the

It was only when the giant got halfway down the incline that he suddenly, happily, burst into flame and continued his trip saying, NO SURVIVORS, NO SURVIVORS! in a manner that could only indicate deadly sincerity.

It was seeing him happily burning and advancing that startled the Brute Squad to screaming. And once that happened, why, everybody panicked and ran…

I’m going to tell you something once and then

I’m going to tell you something once and then whether you die is strictly up to you,” Westley said, lying pleasantly on the bed. “What I’m going to tell you is this: drop your sword, and if you do, then I will leave with this baggage here”—he glanced at Buttercup—”and you will be tied up but not fatally, and will be free to go about your business. And if you choose to fight, well, then, we will not both leave alive.”You are only alive now because you said ‘to the pain.’ I want that phrase explained.”My pleasure. To the pain means this: if we duel and you win, death for me. If we duel and I win, life for you. But life on my terms. The first thing you lose will be your feet. Below the ankle. You will have stumps available to use within six months. Then your hands, at the wrists. They heal somewhat quicker. Five months is a fair average. Next your nose. No smell of dawn for you. Followed by your tongue. Deeply cut away. Not even a stump left. And then your left eye—”And then my right eye, and then my ears, and shall we get on with it?” the Prince said.Wrong!” Westley’s voice rang across the room. “Your ears you keep, so that every shriek of every child shall be yours to cherish—every babe that weeps in fear at your approach, every woman that cries ‘Dear God, what is that thing?’ will reverberate forever with your perfect ears. That is what ‘to the pain’ means. It means that I leave you in anguish, in humiliation, in freakish misery until you can stand it no more; so there you have it, pig, there you know, you miserable vomitous mass, and I say this now, and live or die, it’s up to you: Drop your sword!”The sword crashed to the floor.

The Prince found Buttercup waiting unhappily outside

The Prince found Buttercup waiting unhappily outside his chamber doors.It’s my letter,’ she began. ‘I cannot make it right.’Come in, come in,’ the Prince said gently. ‘Maybe we can help you.’ She sat down in the same chair as before. ‘All right, I’ll close my eyes and listen; read to me.’Westley, my passion, my sweet, my only my own. Come back, come back. I shall kill myself otherwise. Yours in torment, Buttercup.’ She looked at Humperdinck. ‘Well? Do you think I’m throwing myself at him?

you were already more beautiful than anything I

you were already more beautiful than anything I dared to dream. In our years apart, my imaginings did their best to improve on you perfection. At night, your face was forever behind my eyes. And now I see that that vision who kept me company in my loneliness was a hag compared to the beauty now before me. –WestleyEnough about my beauty. Buttercup said. Everybody always talks about how beautiful I am. I’ve got a mind, Westley. Talk about that.

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Writing is finally about one thing: going into a

Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.

Inigo was in despair.Hard to find on the map (this

Inigo was in despair.Hard to find on the map (this was after maps) not because cartographers didn’t know of its existence, but because when they visited to measure its precise dimensions, they became so depressed they began to drink and question everything, most notably why anyone would want to be something as stupid as a cartographer. It required constant travel, no one ever knew your name, and, most of all, why bother? There grew up, then, a gentleman’s agreement among mapmakers of the period to keep the place as secret as possible, lest tourists flock there and die. (Should you insist on paying a visit, it’s closer to the Baltic States than most places.)

Flailing and thrashing, Buttercup wept and tossed

Flailing and thrashing, Buttercup wept and tossed and paced and wept some more, and there have been three great cases of jealousy since David of Galilee was first afflicted with the emotion when he could no longer stand the fact that his neighbor Saul’s cactus outshone his own. (Originally, jealousy pertained solely to plants, other people’s cactus or ginkgoes, or, later, when there was grass, grass, which is why, even to this day, we say that someone is green with jealousy.) Buttercup’s case rated a close fourth on the all-time list.It was a very long and very green night.

The Countess was considerably younger than her

The Countess was considerably younger than her husband. All of her clothes came from Paris (this was after Paris) and she had superb taste. (This was after taste too, but only just. And since it was such a new thing, and since the Countess was the only lady in all Florin to posses it, is it any wonder she was the leading hostess in the land?)

Everyone had told her, since she became a

Everyone had told her, since she became a princess-in-training, that she was very likely the most beautiful woman in the world. Now she was going to be the richest and the most powerful as well.Don’t expect too much from life, Buttercup told herself as she rode along. Learn to be satisfied with what you have.

Chapter One. The Bride.” He held up the book then.

Chapter One. The Bride.” He held up the book then. “I’m reading it to you for relax.” He practically shoved the book in my face. “By S. Morgenstern. Great Florinese writer. The Princess Bride. He too came to America. S. Morgenstern. Dead now in New York. The English is his own. He spoke eight tongues.” Here my father put down the book and held up all his fingers. “Eight. Once in Florin City…

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Groin’ is a funny word,” Babe said quietly. “I don’t

Groin’ is a funny word,” Babe said quietly. “I don’t know the German for it, but I’m sure you do.” He began to talk more quickly then, because he could tell Szell was starting to die. “Oh, maybe you didn’t see it in the papers, but they’ve made this fabulous theological discovery, do you know what they’ve found? People don’t go to heaven or hell, they all go to one spot first, sort of a way station, and that’s were things happen, because, you probably won’t believe this, but some people on this earth have been known to do bad things to other people, innocent people, and at this way station, the innocent people wait, and then when their savager comes, they get to exact a little portion of revenge. God says revenge is good for the soul. Do you know who’s waiting for you, Mr. Szell? All the Jews. They’re all there, and you know what else? They’ve all got drills, like you used on me – remember how you said how wonderful it was, anyone could learn that, how to use them? Well, they have and they’re waiting, and I don’t know about you, but I think it’s gonna be terrific.”Szell was almost dead now, but Babe just had time to get it in.Have a swell eternity,” Babe said…

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I don’t know that you’ll understand this, but once

I don’t know that you’ll understand this, but once upon a time, long ago, I was a scholar and a marathon man, but that fella’s gone now, dead I suppose, but I remember something he thought, which was that if you don’t learn the mistakes of the past, you’ll be doomed to repeat them. Well we’ve been making a mistake with people like you, because public trials are bullshit and executions are games for winners – all this time we should have been giving back pain. That’s the real lesson. That’s the loser’s share, just pain, pure and simple, pain and torture, no hotshot lawyers running around trying to see that justice is done. I think we’d have a nice peaceful place here if all you warmakers knew you better not start something because if you lost, agony was just around the bend. That’s what I’d like to give you. Agony. Not what you’re suffering now. I mean a lifetime of it, ’cause that’s the only degree of justice I think we’re ready for down here yet, and I know any humanist might disagree with me too, but I don’t think you will, because you had a lot to do with educating me, I’m like you now, except I’m better at it, because you’re going to die and I’ve still got a long way to go.

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