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Quotes / A. A. Milne

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  • From The Ugly Duckling:
    Prince: Do your people give a faint, surprised cheer whenever your drawbridge makes it down?
    Princess: Of course.
    Prince: In that case it came down about three minutes ago.
    • And this gem:
    King: What you are trying to say in the fewest words possible is that my daughter is not beautiful.
    Chancellor: Her beauty is certainly elusive, Your Majesty.
    King: It is. It has eluded you, it has eluded me, it has eluded everybody who has seen her.
    • And let us not forget the King's attempts to coach his daughter's stand in:
      Dulcibella (loudly): Oh, Prince Simon!
      King: No, no. You don’t need to shout until he has said “What?” two or three times. Always consider the possibility that he isn’t deaf. Softly, and giving the words a dying fall, letting them play around his head like a flight of doves.
      Dulcibella (still a little over-loud): O-o-o-o-h, Prinsimon!
      King: Keep the idea in your mind of a flight of doves rather than a flight of panic-stricken elephants, and you will be all right. Now I’m going to get up, and you must, as it were, waft me into a seat by your side. (She starts wafting.) Not rescuing a drowning man, that’s another idea altogether, useful at times, but at the moment inappropriate. Wafting. Prince Simon will put the necessary muscles into play – all you require to do is to indicate by a gracious movement of the hand the seat you require him to take. Now! (He gets up, a little stiffly, and sits next to her.) That was better. Well, here we are. Now, I think you give me a look: something, let us say, half-way between the breathless adoration of a nun and the voluptuous abandonment of a woman of the world; with an undertone of regal dignity, touched, as it were, with good comradeship. Now try that. (She gives him a vacant look of bewilderment.) Frankly, that didn’t quite get it. There was just a little something missing. An absence, as it were, of all the qualities I asked for, and in their place an odd resemblance to an unsatisfied fish.