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A Gentleman in Moscow Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from A Gentleman in Moscow
  1. #1
    “In the end, a parent’s responsibility could not be more simple: To bring a child safely into adulthood so that she could have a chance to experience a life of purpose and, God willing, contentment.”
  2. #2
    “Yes, a bottle of wine was the ultimate distillation of time and place; a poetic expression of individuality itself. Yet here it was, cast back into the sea of anonymity, that realm of averages and unknowns.”
  3. #3
    “If patience wasn’t so easily tested, then it would hardly be a virtue.”
  4. #4
    “The principle here is that a new generation owes a measure of thanks to every member of the previous generation. Our elders planted fields and fought in wars; they advanced the arts and sciences, and generally made sacrifices on our behalf. So by their efforts, however humble, they have earned a measure of our gratitude and respect.”
  5. #5
    “Either way, he figured a cup of coffee would hit the spot. For what is more versatile? As at home in tin as it is in Limoges, coffee can energize the industrious at dawn, calm the reflective at noon, or raise the spirits of the beleagured in the middle of the night.”
  6. #6
    “From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family. . . But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu. And if it were to? We wouldn’t welcome the education. For eventually, we come to hold our dearest possessions more closely than we hold our friends.”
  1. #7
    “I’ll tell you what is convenient,” he said after a moment. “To sleep until noon and have someone bring you your breakfast on a tray. To cancel an appointment at the very last minute. To keep a carriage waiting at the door of one party, so that on a moment’s notice it can whisk you away to another. To sidestep marriage in your youth and put off having children altogether. These are the greatest of conveniences, Anushka—and at one time, I had them all. But in the end, it has been the inconveniences that have mattered to me most.”
  2. #8
    “And when that celestial chime sounds, perhaps a mirror will suddenly serve its truer purpose—revealing to a man not who he imagines himself to be, but who he has become.”
  3. #9
    ″‘Who would have imagined,’ he said, ‘when you were sentenced to life in the Metropol all those years ago, that you had just become the luckiest man in all of Russia.‘”
  4. #10
    “Our churches, known the world over for their idiosyncratic beauty, for their brightly colored spires and improbable cupolas, we raze one by one. We topple the statues of old heroes and strip their names from the streets, as if they had been figments of our imagination. Our poets we either silence, or wait patiently for them to silence themselves.”
  5. #11
    “History has shown charm to be the final ambition of the leisure class. What I do find surprising is that the author of the poem in question could have become a man so obviously without purpose.”
  6. #12
    “For if a room that exists under the governance, authority, and intent of others seems smaller than it is, then a room that exists in secret can, regardless of its dimensions, seem as vast as one cares to imagine.”

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  1. #13
    “And when the Count’s parents succumbed to cholera within hours of each other in 1900, it was the Grand Duke who took the young Count aside and explained that he must be strong for his sister’s sake; that adversity presents itself in many forms; and that if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”
  2. #14
    ″‘A king fortifies himself with a castle,’ observed the Count, ‘a gentleman with a desk.‘”
  3. #15
    “For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”
  4. #16
    “The Count looked an Andrey in amazement. But then a memory presented itself—a memory of a Christmas past when the Count had leaned from his chair to correct a certain waiter’s recommendation of a Roja to accompany a Latvian stew. How smugly the Count had observed at the time that there was no substitute for experience. Well, thought the Count, here is your substitute.”
  5. #17
    “For his part, the Count had opted for the life of the purposefully unrushed. Not only was he disinclined to race toward some appointed hour - disdaining even to wear a watch - he took the greatest satisfaction when assuring a friend that a worldly matter could wait in favor of a leisurely lunch or stroll along the embankment. After all, did not wine improve with age? Was it not the passage of years that gave a piece of furniture its delightful patina? When all was said and done, the endeavors that most modern men saw as urgent (such as appointments with bankers and the catching of trains), probably could have waited, while those they deemed frivolous (such as cups of tea and friendly chats) had deserved their immediate attention.”
  6. #18
    “Alexander Rostov was neither scientist nor sage; but at the age of sixty-four he was wise enough to know that life does not proceed by leaps and bounds. It unfolds. At any given moment, it is the manifestation of a thousand transitions. Our faculties wax and wane, our experiences accumulate and our opinions evolve--if not glacially, then at least gradually. Such that the events of an average day are as likely to transform who we are as a pinch of pepper is to transform a stew.”
  7. #19
    “No matter how much time passes, those we have loved never slip away from us entirely.”
  8. #20
    “It was, without question, the smallest room that he had occupied in his life; yet somehow, within those four walls the world had come and gone.”
Book Topics › sacrifice
Children's Books About Sacrifice