Caleb’s Crossing: Important quotes with page numbers
1. “Listening, not speaking, has been my way. I have become most proficient in it. My mother taught me the use of silence” (4).
2. “I love the fogs that wreathe us all in milky veils, and the winds that moan and keen in the chimney piece at night. Even when the wrack line is crusted with salty ice, and the ways through the woods crunch under my clogs, I drink the cold air in the low, blue gleam that sparkles on the snow. Every inlet and outcrop of this place, I love” (8).
3. “I thought, but did not say, that grandfather could hardly have expected the fine points of English property law to count for much to some three thousand people whose reputation […] had been ferocious” (11).
4. “We named the things of this place in reference to things that were not of this place — cat briar for the thickets of vine whose thorns were narrow and claw like; lambskill for the lowgrowing laurel […] But there had no cats or lambs here until we brought them. So when he named a plant or a creature, I felt that I heard the true name of the thing for the first time” (32).
5. “Of course, I thought it all outlandish. But… it came to me that our story of a burning bush and a parted sea might also seem fabulous, to one not raised up knowing it was true” (35).
6. “My mind was brimming with corrupt fantasies […] I thought of that familiar chestnut-brown body, pared by ordeal, naked in the darkness. And of Satan, in his serpent form, twining about those bruised thighs, hissing out his tempting promises of potency” (74).
7. “Because of him, the sea to me is no longer an opaque mystery, but a most useful lens” (191).
8. “‘You are like these … There is no end to them. You will pour across this land and we will be smothered … We must find favour with your God, or die … I say it is braver, sometimes, to bend … That is why I will go now to the Latin school, and the college after, and if your God prospers me there, I will be of use to my people, and they will live’” (191).
9. “Everything there is done and built and finished. I like it here, where we can make and do for ourselves” (274).
10. “In time, even Samuel came to wonder if our austere form of worship was the only way to be godly” (364).