1. "There's no rush for Isaac Newton. We were quite happy with Aristotle's cosmos. Personally, I preferred it. Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe."
"There are no more that two or three poets of the first rank now living, and I will not shoot one of them dead over a perpendicular poke in a gazebo with a woman whose reputation could not be adequately defended with a platoon of musketry deployed by rota....And I would say the same to Milton were he not already dead. Not the part about his wife, of course--" (It's a bit of a cheat: this is from a play, but it's still one of my favourite books!) - Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard (xanantha)
6. "And even in the days of King Edward, third of that name," he would tell them, always in the same words, so that they mouthed it with him and almost stifled themselves with silent laughter, "there were no less than seventeen guides in succession needed to conduct him north to south."
Roger would inherit Ghylls Hatch one day - a far finer thing, so Medley always thought, than to be heir to Mantlemass itself - that would go to Simon, the elder son.
7. Vladimir specialized in grey studies of hopeless misery, where nothing happened until page three hundred and eighty, when the moujik decided to commit suicide.
Cuthbert was an optimist at heart, and it seemed to him that, at that rate at which the inhabitants of that interesting country were murdering one another, the supply of Russian novelists must eventually give out. - The Clicking of Cuthbert, by PG Wodehouse (xanantha)