The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons quotes

54 total quotes (ID: 1111)

Uncle Jack

[to George] I can just guess what that was about. He's telling her what you did to Eugene...You're not going in there!...You keep away from here...Go on to the top of the stairs. Go on! It's indecent, like squabbling outside the door of an operating room. The idea of you going in there now. Just telling Isabel the whole thing. Now you stay here and let him tell her. He's got some consideration for her...I thought you already knew everything I did. I was just suffering...Oh, I was a fool. Eugene never would have looked at me, even if he'd never seen Isabel. And they haven't done any harm! She made Wilbur happy. She was a true wife to him as long as he lived. Here I go, not doing myself a bit of good by him, I'm just ruining them. Leave her alone.

[in a letter to Isabel] Dearest One. Yesterday, I thought the time had come when I could ask you to marry me and you were dear enough to tell me, 'Sometime it might come to that.' Now, we are faced, not with slander, not with our own fear of it, because we haven't any, but someone else's fear of it, your son's. Oh dearest woman in the world, I know what your son is to you and it frightens me. Let me explain a little. I don't think he'll change. At twenty-one or twenty-two, so many things appear solid, permanent, and terrible, which forty sees as nothing but disappearing miasma. Forty can't tell twenty about this. Twenty can find out only by getting to be forty. And so we come to this, dear. Will you live your life your way, or George's way? Dear, it breaks my heart for you, but what you have to oppose now is your own selfless and perfect motherhood. Are you strong enough, Isabel? Can you make a fight? I promise you that if you will take heart for it, you will find so quickly that it's all amounted to nothing. You shall have happiness and only happiness. I'm saying too much for wisdom, I fear. And oh my dear, won't you be strong? Such a little short strength it would need. Don't strike my life down twice, dear. This time I've not deserved it.

[to Fanny, about George] You know what he said to me when we went in that room? He said, 'You must have known my mother wanted you to come here today, so that I could ask you to forgive me.' We shook hands.

I never noticed before how much like Isabel Georgie looks. You know something, Fanny? I wouldn't tell this to anybody but you. But it seemed to me as if someone else was in that room. And that through me, she brought her boy under shelter again, and that I'd been true at last to my true love.

Wilbur? Wilbur Minafer? I never thought he'd get her. Well, what do ya know? Well, Wilbur may not be any Apollo, as it were, but he's a steady young business man.

[to George] Once I stood where we're standing now to say goodbye to a pretty girl. Only it was in the old station before this was built. We called it the depot. We knew we wouldn't see each other again for almost a year. I thought I couldn't live through it. She stood there crying - don't even know where she lives now. Or if she is living. If she ever thinks of me she probably imagines I'm still dancing in the ballroom of the Amberson mansion. She probably thinks of the mansion as still beautiful. Still the finest house in town. Ah, life and money both behave like loose quicksilver in a nest of cracks. When they're gone, you can't tell where, or what the devil you did with them...I've always been fond of you, Georgie. I can't say I've always liked ya. But we all spoiled you terribly when you were a boy....There have been times when I thought you ought to be hanged. And just for a last word, there may be somebody else in this town (Lucy) who's always felt about you like that. Fond of you, I mean, no matter how much it seems you ought to be hanged.

There it is, the Amberson mansion. The pride of the town...Sixty thousands dollars worth of woodwork alone. Hot and cold running water, upstairs and down. And stationary washstands in every last bedroom in the place.

I guess she's still mad at him...Isabel. Major Amberson's daughter. Eugene Morgan's her best beau. Took a bit too much to drink the other night right out here and stepped clean through the bass fiddle serenadin' her.

Wilbur Minafer. A quiet man. The town will hardly know he's gone.

Sam: [to Eugene] No sir. Miss Amberson ain't at home to you, Mr. Morgan.

Isabel: [to George] Darling, did you get something to eat?...Are you sure you didn't catch cold coming home?... [about Eugene] Has he asked about me? I would have liked to have seen him. Just once.

Policeman: [about automobiles] It's wonderful the damage one of these little machines can do. You'd never believe it.

Mrs. Foster: What she minds is his (Eugene) makin' a clown of himself in her own front yard. Made her think he didn't care much about her. She's probably mistaken but it's too late for her to think anything else now. The wedding will be a big Amberson-style thing. Raw oysters floating in scooped-out blocks of ice. The band from out of town. And then Wilbur will take Isabel on the carefulest little wedding trip he can manage. And she'll be a good wife to him. But they'll have the worst-spoiled lot of children this town will ever see...She couldn't love Wilbur, could she? Well, it'll all go to her children, and she'll ruin them.
Narrator: The prophetess proved to be mistaken in a single detail merely...Wilbur and Isabel did not have children; they had only one.
Mrs. Foster: Only one! But I'd like to know if he isn't spoiled enough for a whole carload.
Narrator: Again, she found none to challenge her. George Amberson Minafer, the Major's one grandchild, was a princely terror.

Narrator: There were people, grown people they were, who expressed themselves longingly. They did hope to live to see the day, they said, when that boy would get his come-uppance.
Wife: His what?
Husband: His come-uppance! Something's bound to take him down someday. I only want to be there.

Isabel: You must promise me never to use those bad words again.
George: I promise not to... [pause] unless I get mad at somebody.