The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons quotes

54 total quotes (ID: 1111)

Eugene
Fanny
George
Narrator
Others
Townsfolk
Uncle Jack


Fanny: The important thing is that Wilbur did get her, and not only got her, but kept her.
Eugene: There's another important thing, that is, for me. In fact, it's the only thing that makes me forgive that bass viol for getting in my way...Lucy.


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

George Amberson Minafer walked homeward slowly through what seemed to be the strange streets of a strange city. The town was growing and changing. It was heaving up in the middle, incredibly. It was spreading, incredibly. And as it heaved and spread, it befouled itself, and darkened its sky. This was the last walk home he was ever to take up National Avenue to Amberson addition, and the big old house at the foot of Amberson Boulevard. Tomorrow, they were to move out. Tomorrow, everything would be gone.

Something had happened, a thing which years ago had been the eagerest hope of many, many good citizens of the town. And now it came at last: George Amberson Minafer had got his comeuppance. He'd got it three times filled and running over. But those who had longed for it were not there to see it. And they never knew it, those who were still living had forgotten all about it, and all about him.

Lucy: I know when you make him (the horse) walk, it's so you can give all your attention to proposing to me again...
George: Lucy, if you aren't the prettiest thing in this world. When are you going to say we're really engaged?
Lucy: Not for years, so there's the answer.
George: Lucy dear, what's the matter? You look as if you're gonna cry. You always do that whenever I can get you to talk about marrying me.
Lucy: I know it.
George: Well why do you?
Lucy: One reason is because I have a feeling it's never gonna be.
George: You haven't any reason?
Lucy: It's just a feeling. I don't know. Everything's so unsettled.
George: ...What's unsettled?
Lucy: Well for one thing, George, you haven't decided on anything to do yet. Or at least if you have, you've never spoken of it.
George: Lucy, haven't you perfectly well understood that I don't intend to go into a business or adopt a profession?
Lucy: Then, what are you going to do George?
George: Why, I expect to lead an honorable life. I expect to contribute my share to charities, and take part in, well, in movements.
Lucy: What kind?
George: Whatever appeals to me. Isn't it your father's idea that I have to go into a business, and you oughtn't to be engaged to me until I do? Do you think I'd be very much of a man if I let another man dictate to me my own way of life?...I don't believe in the whole world scrubbing dishes, selling potatoes, or trying law cases. No, I dare say I don't care any more for your father's ideals than he does for mine.

[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.

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.

George: Well it struck me that Mr. Morgan was looking pretty absent-minded most of the time. And he certainly is dressing better than he used to.
Uncle Jack: Oh, he isn't dressing better, he's dressing up. Fanny, you ought to be a little encouraging when a prized bachelor begins to show by his haberdashery what he wants you to think about him.
George: Well, Jack tells me the fact he's been doing quite well.
Uncle Jack: Quite well.
George: Listen Aunt Fanny. I shouldn't be a bit surprised to have him request an interview and declare that his intentions are honorable.
[Fanny cries and leaves the room]
George: It's getting so that you can't joke with her about anything anymore. With all the gambling, we found out that father's estate was all washed up and he didn't leave anything. I thought she'd feel better when he turned over his insurance to her.
Uncle Jack: I think we've been teasing her about the wrong things. Fanny hasn't got much in her life. You know George, just being an Aunt isn't really the great career it sometimes seemed to be. Really don't know of anything much Fanny has got, except her feeling about Eugene.

Lucy: What are you studying at school?
George: College.
Lucy: College.
George: Oh, lots of useless guff.
Lucy: Why don't you study some useful guff?
George: What do you mean, useful?
Lucy: Something you'd use later in your business or profession.
George: I don't intend to go into any business or profession.
Lucy: No?
George: No.
Lucy: Why not?
George: Well, just look at them. That's a fine career for a man, isn't it? Lawyers, bankers, politicians. What do they ever get out of life, I'd like to know. What do they know about real things? What do they ever get?
Lucy: What do you want to be?
George: A yachtsman!

And now, Major Amberson was engaged in the profoundest thinking of his life. And he realized that everything which had worried him or delighted him during this lifetime, all his buying and building and trading and banking, that it was all trifling and waste beside what concerned him now. For the Major knew now that he had to plan how to enter an unknown country where he was not even sure of being recognized as an Amberson.

Your father wanted to prove that his horseless carriage would run even in the snow. It really does too...It's so interesting. He says he's going to have wheels all made of rubber and blown up with air. I should think they'd explode...Eugene seems very confident. Oh, it seems so like old times to hear him talk.

Isabel: Lucy's on a visit, Father. She's spending a week with a school friend.
Eugene: She'll be back Monday.
Fanny: George, how does it happen you didn't tell us before? He never said a word to us about Lucy going away!
Major Amberson: Probably afraid to. Didn't know that he might break down and cry if we tried to speak of it, isn't that so, Georgie? [He laughs at George]
Fanny: [to George] Or didn't Lucy tell you that she was going?
George: She told me!
Major Amberson: At any rate, Georgie didn't approve. I suppose you two aren't speaking again. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

Uncle Jack: Eighteen years have passed, but have they?...By gosh, old times certainly are starting all over again.
Eugene: Old times. Not a bit. There aren't any old times. When times are gone, they're not old, they're dead. There aren't any times but new times.

Uncle Jack: I told her I thought she ought to make Georgie let her come home, but she doesn't urge it. George seems to like the life there in his grand, gloomy and peculiar way.
Eugene: And you say he won't let her come home.
Uncle Jack: I don't think he uses force. He's very gentle with her. I doubt that the subject is mentioned between them yet - knowing my interesting nephew as you do, wouldn't you think 'that' was about the way to put it?
Eugene: Knowing him as I do, yes.

Cards were out for a ball in his honor, and this pageant of the tenantry was the last of the great long-remembered dances that everybody talked about.