The Ambler Warning

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Starting now, I will be posting some lines and quotes that I find amusing and delightful from the books I read, which I hope I can use for future posts.

So let's start with Robert Ludlum's The Ambler Warning.


"You know the old story about an economist, a physicist, and a mathematician driving through Scotland? They see a brown cow out of the window, and the economist says, 'Fascinating that the cows in Scotland are brown.' The physicist says, 'I'm afraid you're overgeneralizing from the evidence. All we know is that some cows in Scotland are brown.' Finally the mathematician shakes his head at both of them. 'Wrong again. Completely unwarranted by evidence. All we can infer, logically, is that there exists at least one cow in this country, at least one side of which is brown.'"


Caston groused, "I hate this country [France]. At the hotel I turned on the shower knob marked C and practically scalded myself. I swear I could hear fifty million Frenchmen laughing."

"Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong," Laurel told him solemnly. "Isn't that what they say?"

"Fifty million Frenchmen," Caston replied with a reproving stare, "can be wrong in fifty million ways."

"But who's counting?" Ambler said lightly.


"I know that you know that I know that you know...."


"'Und es neigen die Weisen / Oft am Ende zu Schönem sich,' as Hölderlin once wrote. 'And in the end, the wise often succumb to the beautiful.'"