Wednesday, December 8, 2010

quotable holmes

I've been living on my own for nearly two months now.  By "on my own," I mean, of course, that I am living by fully supporting myself financially.  In college my parents footed my rent and education costs, while I paid for my grocery and car fuel bills.  Even when I worked at Bushy Run, although I paid my parents a monthly rent for the privilege of living under their roof, they still took care of my food needs and repairs to the car that I drove.

Now I am entirely out of their hands, and it has been the most wonderful, liberating experience.  I meet all of my expenses on time, I have no trouble at work concerning my abilities to perform my job or come in on time, I've been attending church more regularly than I ever have since high school, and I am in a healthy relationship.  I have two roommates who are both laid back and yet responsible for their bills and doing their part at our apartment, and I am content.  The only things I need to improve upon are my exercise regimen (currently nonexistent) and setting aside time to work on my novel.

December in Pittsburgh has been bitter.  It's snowed more often than not, we lost water in our apartment for about 12 hours when a water pipe burst elsewhere, and we're doing all we can to just stay warm both at work and at home.  My boyfriend, Scott, and I have been staying in during these dreadful evenings.  He paints miniatures for wargamers (a business he has had for several years now), and I read to him.  The reading of choice has been the Sherlock Holmes canon.

It's been nearly ten years since I last read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about the famous consulting detective.  I never realized how genuinely funny Doyle sometimes makes Holmes.  And, as I read, I find more quotes taken directly from the stories that were used in Guy Ritchie's adaptation of the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

One of my favorite quotes includes speech that I had always considered to be a modern invention rather than used in Victorian times, such as this one from "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor:"
"What's up, then?" asked Holmes with a twinkle in his eye. "You look dissatisfied."
A short selection of what I consider to be the best Sherlock Holmes quotes:
"I have nothing to do today. My practice is never very absorbing."
Watson, in "The Red Headed League"

"What are you going to do, then?" I asked.

"To smoke," [Holmes] answered. "It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes."
From "The Red Headed League"

"If I tell her she will not believe me. You may remember the old Persian saying, 'There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from a woman.'"
Sherlock Holmes, in "A Case of Identity"

"God help us!" said Holmes after a long silence. "Why does fate play such tricks with poor, helpless worms? I never hear of such a case as this that I do not think of Baxter's words, and say, 'There, but for the grace of God, goes Sherlock Holmes.'"
From "The Boscombe Valley Mystery"

"Well," said our engineer ruefully as we took our seats to return once more to London, "it has been a pretty business for me! I have lost my thumb and I have lost a fifty-guinea fee, and what have I gained?"

"Experience," said Holmes, laughing. "Indirectly it may be of value, you know; you have only to put it into words to gain the reputation of being excellent company for the remainder of your existence."
From "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb"

"They have been identified as her clothes, and it seemed to me that if the clothes were there the body would not be far off."

"By the same brilliant reasoning, every man's body is to be found in the neighborhood of his wardrobe."
Lestrade and Holmes, in "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor"

"But when I gave him every particular that had occurred, he tried to bluster and took down a life-preserver from the wall. I knew my man, however, and I clapped a pistol to his head before he could strike. Then he became a little more reasonable."
Sherlock Holmes, in "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet"

"Man, or at least criminal man, has lost all enterprise and originality. As to my own little practice, it seems to be degenerating into an agency for recovering lost lead pencils and giving advice to young ladies from boarding-schools."
Sherlock Holmes, in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches"

"At least you have his assurance that your horse will run," said I.

"Yes, I have his assurance," said the Colonel, with a shrug of his shoulders. "I should prefer to have the horse."
Watson and Colonel Ross, in "Silver Blaze"

"Watson," said he, "if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little over-confident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper 'Norbury' in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you."
Sherlock Holmes, in "The Yellow Face"

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