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Everything I ever needed to know I learned from

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Book 4

It’s a pity that folk as talk about fighting the Enemy can’t let others do their bit in their own way without interfering ··· Night oft brings news to near kindred, ‘tis said ··· Strange chances, but murder will out, ‘tis said. ··· Fair speech may hide a foul heart. ··· Not very wise, but just; yes perhaps as just as our little wisdom allows. ··· It seems less evil to counsel another man to break troth than to do so oneself, especially if one sees a friend bound unwitting to his own harm. ··· Where there’s life, there’s hope . . . and need of vittles. ··· They cannot conquer forever. ··· Adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you may say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chance, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on – and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into? ··· That’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to. ··· The great tales never end as tales, but the people in them come, and go when their parts ended. ··· You and I are still stuck in the worst places of the story and it all too likely that some will say at this point: “Shut the book now, dad; we don’t want to read anymore” ··· Don’t take names to yourself. It’s unwise whether they are true or false.

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