The Sandman

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Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the color in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty and your animal spirits.
William Hazlitt
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The Sandman is a story by Neil Gaiman originally published as a comic book series between 1988 and 1996, which has been further re-published in graphic novel editions of 10 volumes.

Preludes and Nocturnes

  • But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living... for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
    • (The Book of Job, Chapter 28, verses 12, 13, 18)
      • SANDMAN #1 Sleep of The Just
  • It was a dark and stormy nightmare...
    • SANDMAN #2: "Imperfect Hosts"
  • Abel: You, uh, p-promise it isn't going to, hmmmm, explode? Promise?
  • Cain: Now, why would I give you an exploding present? What kind of brother would I be if I did that?
  • Abel: My kind of b-brother.
    • SANDMAN #2: "Imperfect Hosts"
  • Have you ever had one of those days when something just seems to be trying to tell you somebody?
    • John Constantine, in SANDMAN #3: "Dream a Little Dream of Me"
  • It is never "only a dream", John Constantine. Here less than other places...
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #3: "Dream a Little Dream of Me"
  • ... see the sun set in the hand of the man ...
    • Rachel, (quoting Kate Bush) in SANDMAN #3: "Dream a Little Dream of Me"
  • It is time for me to walk the abyss. Time to reclaim my own. I must talk to the Morningstar. I do not have high hopes for the meeting.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • There's one at the door, at the gate to damnation... Is it thief, thug or whore? There's one at the door... And there's room for one more 'til the end of creation.
    • Squatterbloat, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • The wood of suicides has changed since my last visit to Hell. I remember it as a tiny grove. Now it resembles a forest.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • Never trust a demon. He has a hundred motives for anything he does... Ninety-nine of them, at least, are malevolent.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • "The Hellfire Club." It feels like a bad joke. And like everything else in hell, it is deadly serious.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • "I am anti-life, the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... of everything. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?"
    "I am hope."
    • Choronzon and Dream, playing the oldest game, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • The million lords of hell stand arrayed about you. Tell us, why should we let you leave? You have no power here, for what power have dreams in hell?
  • You say that I have no power? Perhaps you speak truly. But you say that DREAMS have no power? Ask yourselves, all of you, what power would hell have if those imprisoned here could not dream of heaven?
  • One day, my brothers... one day I shall destroy him.
    • Lucifer and Dream, in SANDMAN #4: "A Hope in Hell"
  • All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories— if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death.
    • SANDMAN #6: "24 Hours"
  • I will be a wise and tolerant monarch, dispensing justice fairly, and only setting nightmares to rip out the minds of the evil and wicked. Or just anybody I don't like.
    • John Dee, in SANDMAN #7: "Sound and Fury"
  • You are utterly the stupidest, most self-centered, appallingest excuse for an anthropomorphic personification in this or any other plane!
    • Death to Dream, in SANDMAN #8: "The Sound of Her Wings"
  • I find myself wondering about humanity. Their attitude to my sister's gift is so strange. Why do they fear the sunless lands? It is as natural to die as it is to be born. But they fear her. Dread her. Feebly they attempt to placate her. They do not love her.
    • Dream about Death, in SANDMAN #8: "The Sound of Her Wings"
  • Looking back, the process of coming up with the Lord of Dreams seems less like an act of creation than one of sculpture: as if he were already waiting, grave and patient, inside a block of white marble, and all I needed to do was chip away everything that wasn't him.
    • Neil Gaiman's afterword in the "Preludes and Nocturnes" Trade Paperback

The Doll's House

  • There is another version of the tale. That is the tale the women tell each other, in their private language that the men-children are not taught, and that the old men are too wise to learn. And in that version of the tale perhaps things happened differently. But then, that is a women's tale, and it is never told to men.
    • From SANDMAN #9: "Tales in the Sand"
  • For love is no part of the dream-world. Love belongs to desire, and desire is always cruel.
    • From SANDMAN #9: "Tales in the Sand" (page 15)
  • I've started in a trade. Working with a friend of mine. It won't last. But it's a new trade. It's called printing. Don't need to be a guild member —not yet. Never be a real demand for it, mind you. Hard work.
    • Hob Gadling, in SANDMAN #13: "Men of Good Fortune"
  • Her kind walk amidst the flotsam of lives they have sacrificed, for their own purposes, till friendless and alone they needs must make the final sacrifice.
    • Dream, on Lady Johanna Constantine, in SANDMAN #13: "Men of Good Fortune"
  • "Death's a capricious thing, innit?"
    "Yes. Yes, she is."
    • Hob Gadling and Dream, in SANDMAN #13: "Men of Good Fortune"
  • I doubt I'm any wiser than I was five hundred years back. I'm older. I've been up, and been down, and been up again. Have I learned aught? I've learned from my mistakes, but I've had more time to commit more mistakes.
    • Hob Gadling, in SANDMAN #13: "Men of Good Fortune"
  • "If I hear another of your theological paradoxes, I'll scream. Frankly, today I don't care if God exists or not." "I doubt He feels likewise, Miss Walker."
    • Rose Walker and Gilbert ("Fiddler's Green" assuming human guise in the form of Gilbert K Chesterton) in SANDMAN #14: "Collectors"
  • And they left, slowly, one by one, with reluctance, leaving the safety of the light for the chill certainties of the darkness.It seemed like the night sucked them up, took them into its dark heart. It seemed like the darkness swallowed them... Perhaps it did.
    • The Cereal (serial killer) convention breaks up, in SANDMAN #14: "Collectors"
  • "Do you know what Freud said about dreams of flying? It means you're really dreaming about having sex." "Indeed? Tell me, then, what does it mean when you dream about having sex?"
    • Rose Walker and Dream, in SANDMAN #15: "Into The Night"
  • I left because I was curious. And because I was tired. Life as a human contains substance I never dreamed of in the Dreaming, Lord. The little victories, and the tiny defeats. I had my reasons.
    • Gilbert (Fiddler's Green) in SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"
  • "I do not understand— " "Of course you don't. You're obviously not very bright, but I shouldn't let it bother you."
    • Dream and Unity Kinkaid, in SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"
  • If my dream was true, then everything we know, everything we think we know is a lie. It means the world's about as solid and as reliable as a layer of scum on the top of a well of black water which goes down forever, and there are things in the depths that I don't even want to think about. It means that we're just dolls. We don't have a clue what's really going down, we just kid ourselves that we're in control of our lives while a paper's thickness away things that would drive us mad if we thought about them for too long play with us, and move us around from room to room, and put us away at night when they're tired, or bored.
    • Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"
  • "And then she woke up." I suppose there are worse endings.
    • Rose Walker in SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"
  • Desire, listen to me carefully. Remember this. We of the endless are the servants of the living— we are not their masters. We exist because they know, deep in their hearts, that we exist.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"
  • Human beings are the creatures of desire. They twist and bend as I require it. If I thought otherwise, I would crack, like Delirium; or I would abandon my realm, like our lost brother.
    • Desire, in SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"
  • And Desire walks the endless pathways of its body, certain that he, or she, or it, is in sole and only control of its destiny. The only inhabitant of the twilight realm of Desire; and it feels nothing like a doll. Nothing like a doll at all.
    • SANDMAN #16: "Lost Hearts"

Dream Country

  • The fraternity of critics, in reality a dark brethren, linked by profane rites and blood vows. To destroy an author they sacrifice a child and perform a critical mass...
    • Ideas flooding the mind of Richard Madoc, in SANDMAN #17: "Calliope"
  • Gryphons shouldn't marry. Vampires don't dance. A man who inherits a library card to the library in Alexandria. A rose bush, a nightingale, and a black rubber dog- collar.
    • Ideas flooding the mind of Richard Madoc, in SANDMAN #17: "Calliope"
  • "Justice?" It repeated. "Justice is a delusion you will not find on this or any other sphere. And wisdom? Wisdom is no part of dreams, lithe walker, though dreams are a part of the sum of each life's experiences, which is the only wisdom that matters. But revelation? That is the province of dream."
    • A skeleton bird, in SANDMAN #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats"
  • All cats can see futures, and see echoes of the past. We can watch the passage of creatures from the infinity of now, from all the worlds like ours, only fractionally different. And we follow them with our eyes, ghost things, and the humans see nothing.
    • The visionary cat, in SANDMAN #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats"
  • They dreamed the world so it always was the way it is now, little one. There never was a world of high cat-ladies and cat-lords.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats"
  • If enough of us dream, if a bare thousand of us dream, we can change the world. We can dream it anew! A world in which no cat suffers from the malice of humans. In which no cats are killed by human caprice. A world that we rule.
    • The visionary cat, in SANDMAN #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats"
  • Dream the world. Not this pallid shadow of reality. Dream the world the way it truly is. A world in which all cats are queens and kings of creation. That is my message. And I shall keep moving, keep repeating it, until I die. Or until a thousand cats hear my words, and believe them, and dream, and we come again to paradise.
    • The visionary cat, in SANDMAN #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats"
  • Little one, I would like to see anyone —prophet, king or God —persuade a thousand cats to do anything at the same time.
    • A cynical cat, in SANDMAN #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats"
  • "So... we are here on your command, my lord, on Midsummer's Eve, by the Long Man of Wilmington. An odd choice of a place for us to perform..." "Odd? Wendel's Mound was a theatre before your race came to this island." "Before the Normans?" "Before the humans."
    • Shakespeare and Dream, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • "'I am that merry wanderer of the night.'? I am that giggling-dangerous-totally-bloody-psychotic-menace-to-life-and-limb, more like it."
    "Shh, Peaseblossom. The puck might hear you."
    • Members of the audience, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • None of those women are women at all. They're males. I can tell. Human males taste more like rabbit than the females — and they stick in your teeth.
    • Skarrow, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • You played me well, mortal. But I have played me for time out of mind. And I do Robin Goodfellow better than anyone.
    • Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • Things have changed, and will change more; and Gaia no longer welcomes us as once she did.
    • Auberon, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • ...the price for getting what you want, is getting what once you wanted.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • During your stay on this Earth the faerie have afforded me much diversion, and entertainment. Now you have left for your own haunts. And I would repay you all for the amusement. And more. They shall not forget you. That was important to me: that King Auberon and Queen Titania will be remembered by mortals, until this age is gone.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • "This is magnicifent ... and it's true! It never happened, yet it is still true! What magic art is this?"
    • Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
  • They say that cigarettes will kill you, eventually. Fine. That's just fine. I only wish they'd do it faster… I like smoking cigarettes. It's something normal people do. I smoke a cigarette, and pretend I'm normal. And I wish I was dead.
    • Element Girl, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • "And you've come for me? Blessed, merciful death. You've come to make it all stop?" "No. I haven't come for you, Rainie. There was a woman upstairs, changing the light bulb in her kid's room. The stepladder slipped... Like I said, I was passing and I heard you crying, and, well, the door was open..."
    • Element Girl and Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • Anyway: I'm not blessed or merciful. I'm just me. I've got a job to do and I do it. Listen: even as we're talking, I'm there for old and young, innocent and guilty, those who die together and those who die alone. I'm in cars and boats and planes, in hospitals and forests and abattoirs. For some folks death is a release and for others death is an abomination, a terrible thing. But in the end, I'm there for all of them.
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • When the first living thing existed, I was there, waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job is finished. I'll put the chairs on tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave.
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • Rainie, mythologies take longer to die than people believe. They linger on in a kind of dream country that affects all of you.
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"
  • Who am I? Just a friend. Sometimes. Maybe. Sorry I couldn't help any. Be seeing you...
    • Death, in SANDMAN #20: "Façade"

Season of Mists

  • The paths fork and divide. With each step you take through Destiny's garden, you make a choice; and every choice determines future paths. However, at the end of a lifetime of walking you might look back, and see only one path stretching out behind you; or look ahead, and see only darkness.
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • The garden of Destiny. You would know it if you saw it. After all, you will wander it until you die. Or beyond. For the paths are long, and even in death there is no ending to them.
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look for it.
    • Delirium, in SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • Desire smells almost subliminally of summer peaches, and casts two shadows: one black and sharp-edged, the other translucent and forever wavering, like heat haze…Desire smiles in brief flashes, like sunlight glinting from a knife- edge. And there is much else that is knife-like about Desire… Never a possession, always the possessor, with skin as pale as smoke, and eyes tawny and sharp as yellow wine: Desire is everything you have ever wanted. Whoever you are. Whatever you are. Everything.
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • Despair, Desire's sister and twin, is queen of her own bleak bourne. It is said that scattered through Despair's domain are a multitude of tiny windows, hanging in the void. Each window looks out onto a different scene, being, in our world, a mirror. Sometimes you will look into a mirror and feel the eyes of Despair upon you, feel her hook catch and snag on your heart.
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • Destiny is the oldest of the Endless; in the beginning was the Word, and it was traced by hand on the first page of his book, before ever it was spoken aloud… Destiny smells of dust and the libraries of night. He leaves no footprints. He casts no shadow.
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • Delirium was once Delight. And although that was long ago now, even today her eyes are badly matched; one eye is a vivid emerald green, spattered with silver flecks that move; her other eye is vein blue. Who knows what Delirium sees, through her mismatched eyes?
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • Dream casts a human shadow, when it occurs to him to do so.
    • SANDMAN #21: "Season of Mists", episode 0
  • "Well, at least you've got the element of surprise on your side." "That would not be honorable, Matthew. I have already sent a messenger to the Lord of Hell, to let him know that I will be coming. One must do these things properly."
    • SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • [Of The Cainites] They also held that the way to salvation was to give way to lust and temptation in all things. And no greater percentage of them turned up here than of any other religion. Amusing, isn't it?
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • "'Better to rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven.' Eh, little brother-killer?"
    "Suh-certainly, Lord Lucifer. Whatever you say, Lord Lucifer."
    "We didn't say it. Milton said it. And he was blind."
    • Lucifer and Cain, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • I move from dreamer to dreamer, from dream to dream, hunting for what I need. Slipping and sliding and flickering through dreams; and the dreamers will wake and wonder why this dream seemed different, wonder how real their lives can truly be.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • "Times is, times was, time's past, Sir Robert."
    "Bold as brass, ma'am."
    • Queen Elizabeth and Hob Gadling in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • "You know, the idea of what someone like you considers a long time sends shivers down my spine."
    • Hob Gadling to Dream, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods and the seasons of mists. And may each and everyone of us always give the devil his due."
    • Hob Gadlings toast, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • They believe themselves Lucifer's equals, Cain, all these pitiful little gnats. But there is only one that we have ever owned to be our superior. There is but one greater than us, and to him... to him we no longer speak.
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • We do what we must, Lucien. Sometimes we can choose the path we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #22: "Season of Mists", episode 1
  • "I am Breschau of Livonia. I ripped out the tongues of those who spoke against me, and cut the unborn babes from the wombs of my enemies women, that they would not become warriors to rise against me. I took my mother by force, and I strangled my sister when she would not consent to my advances. Soon my name was whispered in the night by mothers to terrify their babes into obedience, I am Breschau, who bathed in the blood of children. I am Breschau, who forced the true prophets of the lord to dance upon plates of hot iron, under which fires were burning, and I laughed as they danced. I am Breschau, and when my mistress was unfaithful to me, I cut the nose from her face and wore it about my neck. As for the woman, I had her sewn to her lover, and, skin to skin, I left them in the desert to be eaten by ravens, and I laughed as I heard them scream. I am Breschau, and this is my punishment."
    • Breschau (of Livonia), in SANDMAN #23: "Seasons of Mist: episode 2"
  • "Would the Lord of Hell destroy his realm? Would the Lord of Hell ever free the souls held in torment? Would the Lord of Hell expel the never-born? Would the Lord of Hell abandon the war with Heaven?"
    " The Lord of Hell will do what he damn well likes."
    • The demon Ketele and Lucifer, in SANDMAN #23: "Seasons of Mist: episode 2"
  • "They talk of me going around buying souls, like a fishwife come market day, never stopping to ask themselves why. I need no souls. And how can anyone own a soul? No. They belong to themselves...they just hate to face up to it."
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #23: "Seasons of Mist: episode 2"
  • I could never again be an angel... Innocence, once lost, can never be regained.
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #23: "Season of Mists: episode 2"
  • "I have the honor to be the personal slave of Lord Kilderkin, a manifestation of Order, here incarnated for us in the form of this cardboard box."
    • Un-named servant of Lord Kilderkin, in SANDMAN #24: "Season of Mists: episode 3"
  • "Even when it's empty, thought Charles Rowland, you're never alone in a school. It belong to all those dead people. All the Other kids. The ones that sat in your desk, or slept in your bed, or ran down the corridors a hundred years ago. They never go away."
    • In naration, in SANDMAN #25: "Season of Mists: episode 4"
  • "The Gods of Nippon are very powerful. We are no longer worshiped as once we were, but we have adapted. Times have changed, and we have changed with them. We are expanding--assimilating other pantheons, later gods, new altars and icons. Marilyn Monroe is ours now, as are King Kong and Lady Liberty."
    • Susano-o-no-Mikoto, in SANDMAN #26: "Season of Mists: episode 5"
  • "I'm the amazing Cain. If you enjoyed our show, tell your friends. If you didn't, I trust you get throat cancer and die without ever again uttering another word. Goodnight."
    • Cain, in SANDMAN #27: "Seasons of Mist: episode 6"
  • "I don't WANT to talk to her, Matthew. I doubt she wants to talk to me. But still...We will talk."
    • Dream, about his former lover, in SANDMAN #27: "Seasons of Mist: episode 6"
  • "There will be no more wanton violence; no further suffering, inflicted without reason or explanation. We will hurt you. And we are not sorry. But we do not do it to punish you. We do it to redeem you. Because afterward, you'll be a better person...And because we love you. One day you'll thank us for it."
    "But you don't understand...that makes it worse. That makes it so much worse..."
    • Remiel and one of the damned, in SANDMAN #28: "Seasons of Mist: episode <math>\infty</math>"

Fables and Reflections

  • It is sometimes a mistake to climb, it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN: "Fear of Falling"
  • "Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly."
    • Todd Faber, in SANDMAN: "Fear of Falling"
  • "Dreams. What are Dreams? Dreams are nothing, my brother." "Dreams are 'nothing', sister? Without dreams there could be no Despair."
    • Despair and Dream, in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • "I hesitate to tell you this, Sam, but there are certain individuals who have accused me of. Mm. Well, being mad." "You...shock me, Your Majesty."
    • Norton I, Emperor of the United States, and Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain), in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • "His madness... His madness keeps him sane."
    "And do you think he is the only one, my sister?"
    • Delirium and Dream, in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • "Desire? You disappoint me. This evening's display: bringing back a dead man to offer Norton the pleasures of the world. It was not very subtle."
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • They say that the world rests on the backs of 36 living saints - 36 unselfish men and women. Because of them the world continues to exist. They are the secret kings and queens of this world.
    • Death, in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • I've met a lot of kings, and emperors and heads of state in my time, Joshua. I've met them all. And you know something? I think I liked you best.
    • Death, to Joshua Norton in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • "I must confess, I have always wondered what lay beyond life, my dear." "Yeah, everybody wonders. And sooner or later everybody gets to find out."
    • Norton I and Death, in SANDMAN #31: "Three Septembers and a January"
  • "Will you kill all the poets, then, St. Just? Will you kill all the dreamers?"
    • Lady Johanna Constantine, in SANDMAN #29: "Thermidor"
  • From that Time on, the Song of Orpheus has always hovered at the Edge of my Perception; a Melody I can never fully recover, try howsoever I will. And do not doubt that there are many in Authority to whom I would sing it, if 'twere within my Power.
    • Lady Johanna Constantine, in SANDMAN #29: "Thermidor"
  • The young man's mother had died bringing him into the world; she gave him life, a small wooden finger-ring, and the name Vassily. There have been worse legacies.
    • The grandfather's tale in SANDMAN #38: "The Hunt"
  • "Of course you don't believe in fairies. You're fifteen. You think I believed in fairies at fifteen? Took me until I was at least a hundred and forty. Hundred and fifty, maybe. Anyway, he wasn't a fairy. He was a librarian. All right?"
    • Grandfather in SANDMAN #38: "The Hunt"
  • Listen, blood of my blood, although I'm a hard man to anger, and I love you deeply, if you interrupt me again so help me I'll rip out your throat with my teeth.
    • The grandfather in SANDMAN #38: "The Hunt"
  • Never trust the storyteller. Only trust the story.
    • The grandfather in SANDMAN #38: "The Hunt" (adopted from D. H. Lawrence)
  • Do you know how long it's been since I mislaid a book? Well, let's just say the continents weren't in their current shapes, not that that means anything to you.
    • Lucien in SANDMAN #38: "The Hunt"
  • We write our names in the sand, and then the waves roll in and wash them away.
    • The emperor Augustus in SANDMAN #30: "August"
  • Forewarned is seldom forearmed. Not even in the shifting zones.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #39: "Soft Places"
  • "You look white as the man in the moon. Are you always that pale?" "That depends on who's watching."
    • Marco Polo and Dream, in SANDMAN #39: "Soft Places"
  • Any view of things that is not strange is false.
    • An aside, in SANDMAN #39: "Soft Places"
  • There are really patterns. It was a revelation, of a kind. Dreams and sand and stories. Deserts and cities and time.
    • SANDMAN #39: "Soft Places"
  • You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN: "The Song of Orpheus"
  • Herakles was full of it. He just got dead drunk for a couple of weeks in Phrygia and told everyone he'd been to the land of the dead.
    • Death, in SANDMAN: "The Song of Orpheus"
  • "I don't need to know the future. When the future's over, then it's me..."
    • Death, in SANDMAN: "The Song of Orpheus"
  • Thou hast made the Furies cry, Orpheus. They will never forgive you for that.
    • Queen Persephone, in SANDMAN: "The Song of Orpheus"
  • ABEL: Abel, the younger brother, had lots of sheep, and he had given the land's creator a sheep as present. Cain, who was the older, grew fruit and vegetables, and he'd given the land's creator some of them. The creator liked the sheep best, because it was all funny and fluffy and white--
  • CAIN: Because it was warm, steaming meat. It was a bleeding sacrifice, you bloody idiot!
    • Abel and Cain, SANDMAN #49: "The Parliament of Rooks"
  • There was also in that room the Other Egg of the Phoenix. (For the Phoenix when its time comes to die lays two eggs, one black, one white: From the white egg hatches the Phoenix-bird itself, when its time is come, but what hatches from the black egg no one knows.
    • SANDMAN #50: "Ramadan"
  • You have called me here, Haroun. It is unwise to summon what you cannot dismiss.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #50: "Ramadan"
  • He prays as he walks (cursing his one weak leg the while), prays to Allah (who made all things) that somewhere, in the darkness of dreams, abides the other Baghdad (that can never die), and the other egg of the Phoenix. But Allah alone knows all.
    • SANDMAN #50: "Ramadan"

A Game of You

  • This is a bright place, filled with frightened people, and fast hard things that hurt and wound. No matter. I swore I would remain by her side forever, and until death divided us. I must walk until once more we are reunited.
    • Martin Tenbones, lost in New York, in SANDMAN #32: "Slaughter on Fifth Avenue"
  • I am not afraid. O Princess Barbara, protect me now as I have protected you in days long past. O Murphy watch over me. I will not be afraid.
    • Martin Tenbones, lost in New York, in SANDMAN #32:"Slaughter on Fifth Avenue"
  • There are two ways into another's dreams. We can go through the dream king; or we can go by the moon's road. But the dream king has little time for you women, and even less for my kind; while the moon is ever ours. It's time to draw down the moon.
    • Thessaly, in SANDMAN #34: "Bad Moon Rising"
  • Where others ask timorously, Thessalian, your kind commanded, directed, ordered. It galled us. But the others are dust now, and less than dust. And one day you, in your turn, will join them. And then our compact will be over, and you will be ours, as they are.
    • The moon, in SANDMAN #34: "Bad Moon Rising"
  • I was one of seventeen children. We were all named Wilkinson -- I suppose it was roughest on the girls, but we all got used to it in the end. I blame the parents, really. ... It was just when they found a name they liked, they stuck with it.
    • Wilkinson, in SANDMAN #35: "Beginning to See the Light"
  • You shouldn't mess with the uh moon. That's dangerous.
    • George, in SANDMAN #35: "Begining to See the Light"
  • It's like, that people... Well, that everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world--no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, maginificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.
    • Barbie, in SANDMAN #36, "I Woke Up And One Of Us Was Crying"
  • And if there's a moral there, I don't know what it is, save maybe that we should take our goodbyes whenever we can, and that's all.
    • Barbie, in SANDMAN # 36, "I Woke Up And One Of Us Was Crying"

Brief Lives

  • Change. Change. Change. Change... Change. Change. Chaaange. When you say words a lot they don't mean anything. Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway, and we just think they do.
    • Delirium, in SANDMAN #41: "Brief Lives:1"
  • In her world there are so many windows. Each opening shows her an existence that's fallen to her— some only for moments, others for lifetimes.
    • Despair's realm, in SANDMAN #41: "Brief Lives:1"
  • "I mean, does this always happen when a girlfriend walks out on him?"
    "Not at all. For example, after the Nada affair he razed the Dreaming. It was a bleak, lonely desert for centuries. I remember the first flower that grew. The first time he smiled again..."
    • Matthew and Lucien, in SANDMAN #42: "Brief Lives:2"
  • There are roughly seventy people walking the Earth, human to all appearances (and in a few cases, to all medical tests currently available), who were alive before the Earth had begun to congeal from gas and dust.
    • SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "You lived what anybody gets, Bernie. You got a lifetime. No more. No less."
    • Death, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "What's the name of the word for the precise moment when you realize that you've actually forgotten how it felt to make love to somebody you really liked a long time ago." "There isn't one." "Oh. I thought maybe there was."
    • Delirium and Dream, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "Is there a word for forgetting the name of someone when you want to introduce them to someone else at the same time you realize you've forgotten the name of the person you're introducing them to as well?" "No."
    • Delirium and Dream, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "What the hell would you know? You're a dog."
    "Did I ever say I wasn't?"
    • Destruction and Barnabas, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "You know, Barnabas, there are those who claim that for unquestioning respect and eternal devotion, all one needs is a dog."
    "Hey, schmuck, devotion you've got. Perjury isn't in the job description."
    • Destruction and Barnabas, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • When I dream, sometimes I remember how to fly. You just lift one leg, then you lift the other leg, and you're not standing on anything, and you can fly.
    • Chloe Russell, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "So what I want to know is, when I'm asleep, do I really remember how to fly? And forget how when I wake up? Or am I just dreaming I can fly?"
    "When you dream, sometimes you remember. When you wake, you always forget."
    "But that's not fair!"
    • Chloe and Dream, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "Um, what's the name of the word for things not being the same always? You know, I'm sure there is one. Isn't there? There must be a word for it... the thing that lets you know time is happening. Is there a word?"
    • Delirium and Dream, in SANDMAN #43: "Brief Lives:3"
  • "Listen, I couldn't help overhearing you earlier. You said destiny was blind. Well, didn't you mean love? It's 'Love is blind'. That's the saying, isn't it?"
    • SANDMAN #44: "Brief Lives:4"
  • I know how gods begin, Roger. We start as dreams. Then we walk out of dreams into the land. We are worshipped and loved, and take power to ourselves. And then one day there's no one left to worship us. And in the end, each little god and goddess takes its last journey back into dreams... and what comes after, not even we know.
    • Ishtar, in SANDMAN #45: "Brief Lives:5"
  • I'm going to dance now, I'm afraid.
    • Ishtar, in SANDMAN #45: "Brief Lives:5"
  • The garden of Destiny. Look behind you: shadow-plays of memory are forever being enacted, on paths you walked too long ago.
    • SANDMAN #47: "Brief Lives:7"
  • Do you know why I stopped being Delight, my brother? I do. There are things not in your book. There are paths outside this garden. You would do well to remember that.
    • Delirium to Destiny, in SANDMAN #47: "Brief Lives:7"
  • Destruction did not cease with my abandonment of my realm, no more than people would cease to dream should you abandon yours. Perhaps it's more uncontrolled, wilder. Perhaps not. But it's no longer anyone's responsibility.
    • Destruction, in SANDMAN #48: "Brief Lives:8"
  • I like the stars. It's the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they're always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend... I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don't last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend.
    • Destruction, in SANDMAN #48: "Brief Lives:8"
  • The Endless? The Endless are merely patterns. The Endless are ideas. The Endless are wave functions. The Endless are repeating motifs. The Endless are echoes of darkness, and nothing more. We have no right to play with their lives, to order their dreams and their desires.
    • Destruction, in SANDMAN #48: "Brief Lives:8"
  • "Even our existences are brief and bounded. None of us will last longer than this version of the universe." "Except our sister." "So we suppose."
    • Destruction, Delirium, and Dream refering to Death in SANDMAN #48: "Brief Lives:8"
  • What's done can't be undone. Or very rarely. And definitely not this time.
    • Destruction, in SANDMAN #48: "Brief Lives:8"
  • "You cannot seek Destruction and return unscathed." "Delirium has." "Delirium has been scathed enough in her time."
    • Despair and Desire, in SANDMAN #49: "Brief Lives:9"
  • "You know, I swore an oath once. I swore I would make him spill family blood. And now he has. I should be triumphant."
    "It was not your doing."
    "True. But it was what I wanted."
    "So. Are you happy?"
    "No. I'm scared."
    "So am I."
    • Desire and Despair, in SANDMAN #49: "Brief Lives, Chapter 9"

Worlds' End

  • You need help, matey. You and that there young lady. That red stuff, that's blood that is. Meant to be on the inside, it is. Bad sign if it's not on the inside, that's what I says.
    • Hedgehog, SANDMAN #51: "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • When a world ends, there's always something left over. A story, perhaps, or a vision, or a hope. This inn is a refuge, after the lights go out. For a while.
    • The hostess of The Inn at the End of the Worlds, SANDMAN #51: "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • "What's going on?" "We're telling stories. You just missed a really good one about a man who won November 1937 in a poker game."
    • Brant and Charlene, in SANDMAN #51: "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • If a city has a personality, maybe it also has a soul. Maybe it dreams. That is where I believe we have come. We are in the dreams of the city. That's why certain places hover on the brink of recognition; why we almost know where we are.
    • SANDMAN #51: "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • "If the city was dreaming," he told me, "then the city is asleep. And I do not fear cities sleeping, stretched out unconscious around their rivers and estuaries, like cats in the moonlight. Sleeping cities are tame and harmless things. What I fear," he said, "is that one day he cities will waken. That one day the cities will rise."
    • SANDMAN #51: "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • We of Faerie are of the wild magic. We are not creatures of spells and grimoires. We are spells, and we are written of in grimoires.
    • SANDMAN #52: "Cluracan's Tale"
  • So, like everyone else, I was staring out of one of the windows of the inn at the end of the words. Worlds. I meant worlds.
    • Brant Tucker, in SANDMAN #56: "World's End"
  • The words said over my father's body were hollow and dumb, and I couldn't find it in me to cry, not then. I knew I was watching the real thing here. There was true grief in each step they took across the sky, and they shouldered the casket as if they were shouldering the weight of the world.
    • Brant Tucker, in SANDMAN #56: "World's End"
  • She looked at me. Maybe she was trying to tell me something; I don't know. She probably didn't even know I was there. But I'll always love her. All my life.
    • Brant Tucker, of Death, in SANDMAN #56: "World's End"
  • It was like I knew her. Like she was my oldest, dearest friend. The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they'll still love you, because they know you.
    • Brant Tucker, of Death, in SANDMAN #56: "World's End"
  • I'm Matthew. I'm the raven. Not a raven— the raven. That's one of the weird things about the Dreaming— it's a kind of one-raven-at-a- time sort of place.
    • Matthew, in SANDMAN: "The Castle"

The Kindly Ones

  • "It's never what they want, and if we give them what they think they want, they like it less than ever."
    • The eldest of the three Fates, in SANDMAN #57: "The Kindly Ones:1"
  • There are no gryphons, no wyverns, no winged horses in the waking world, raven. Not anymore. But we are here...
    • The gryphon at the door, in SANDMAN #57: "The Kindly Ones:1"
  • "I can remember the title, author, and location of every book in this library, Matthew. Every book that's ever been dreamed. Every book that's ever been imagined. Every book that's ever been lost. Millions upon millions of them. That's what I remember. It's my job. Other things... I forget sometimes."
    • Lucien, in SANDMAN #57: "The Kindly Ones:1"
  • "There's a downstairs in everybody. That's where we live."
    • The youngest of the Three, in SANDMAN #58: "The Kindly Ones:2"
  • It was then that Delirium noticed that she had absent-mindedly transformed into a hundred and eleven perfect, tiny multicoloured fish. Each fish sang a different song.
    • SANDMAN #59: "The Kindly Ones:3"
  • "What's he got?"
    "A feather. Looks like a phoenix's."
    "They're lucky."
    "For whom?"
    • Loki and Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #59: "The Kindly Ones:3"
  • How remarkably funny, Remiel. Not actually original though, of course.
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4"
  • Been there, Remiel. Done that, wore the tee-shirt, ate the burger, bought the original cast album, choreographed the legions of the damned and orchestrated the screaming...
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4"
  • You didn't join the rebellion, not because you felt I was wrong, but because you were too damned scared. What would you have done, had I won? Told me that you'd always supported me ideologically? That you were secretly cheering me on the whole time?
    • Lucifer to Remiel, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4"
  • I didn't say it was my fault. I said it was my responsibility. I know the difference.
    • Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4"
  • "I'm on my way to that castle. It's owned by a shape-changing ogre. I intend to wager the silver collar around my neck that the ogre cannot change itself into three things that I shall name for it."
    "Will the third shape be a mouse?"
    "Of course."
    "But...don't they ever learn?"
    "They can't. They're part of the story, just as I am."
    • A cat and Lyta Hall, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4"
  • It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half- wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4"
  • The gods we prayed to when we were young used up their time so long ago. They cannot answer anymore.
    • Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • "They never liked us, did they?"
    "Gods don't 'like'. They love and they hate and they ignore."
    • Stheno and Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • If you go looking for the Ladies... well, I don't know that that's such a good idea. You might find them.
    • Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • "I was tttt--told to give you a message."
    "Oh yeah? Who's the message from?"
    "Your gggggg--grandmother. She said she had a message for you. She said it was important."
    "My grandmother is dead, Zelda."
    "I know. She said that. She said she was dead."
    • Zelda and Rose, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones Pt:5"
  • You don't have to believe in God. But what about gods? Eh? The plurality of powers and dominions. The lords and ladies of field and thorn, of asphalt and sewer, gods of telephone and whore, gods of hospital and car-crash?
    • Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • There is a madness needed to touch the gods, yes, this is true. Few mortals possess it, the willingness to step away from the protection of sanity. To walk into the wild woods of madness..
    • Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • Do you know your tragedy, Carla? ... It's that, for all your goodwill, for all your willingness to help, you never knew what any of this was all about. What was going on. You don't know how it ends. And you'll never get to find out.
    • Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • I am the mother to Odin's stallion, Sleipnir. I am the mother of Fenrir sun-eater and of Hel half-rotted and of Jormungund the world-serpent. I am Loki Scar-Lip, Loki Skywalker, Loki Giant's Child, Loki Lie-Smith. I am Loki, who is fire and wit and hate. I am Loki. And I will be under an obligation to no one.
    • Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"
  • And she wrapped her slimy body around his, and she whispered his name into his ear. And he screams, kill me, for god's sake, just get it over with. But she licked her lips with her long worm tongue, and she shakes her head. A meal this good must never be hurried, she says. Just hold still boy, and let me enjoy myself. And she takes her first, gentle bite from his cheek with her sharp sharp teeth...
    • The closing of the tale, in SANDMAN #62: "The Kindly Ones:6"
  • You puzzle me, Dream-Weaver. Are you a spider who's spun a web of cunning and deceit and now waits patiently for his prey to come to him; or are you a deer frozen by the light of a hunter's flame, as disaster comes toward you?
    • Odin describing Dream, in SANDMAN #63: "The Kindly Ones:7"
  • He was a very clever doggy. He said things like... like... "I would feel infinitely more comfortable in your presence if you would agree to treat gravity as a law, rather than one of a number of suggested options."
    • Delirium describes her dog Barnabas, in SANDMAN #63: "The Kindly Ones:7"
  • Dancing salamanders brought the children silver plates filled with exotic ice-creams of various flavors, and with fruits they had never seen before and would never see again... although they would dream of them, on rare occasions, until they died.
    • SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8"
  • He spoke to the embryonic silicon dreams who clustered in a far ballroom, and whispered to them, briefly, about the other machines that had dreamed in the distant past.
    • SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8"
  • The things we do make echos. S'pose f'rinstance, you stop on a street corner and admire a brilliant fork of lightning--ZAP! Well for ages after people and things will stop on that very same corner, stare up at the sky. They wouldn't even know what they were looking for. Some of them might see a ghost bolt of lightning in the street. Some of them might even be killed by it. Our Existence deforms the universe. That's responsibility.
    • Delirium, in SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8"
  • I know lots of things. People think I don't but I really do. I know more about us than any of us. That's just one of the things I know.
    • Delirium, in SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8"
  • "I am honor-bound to warn you to stay on the path through the castle. Straying from the path could mean your destruction. ... You killed my friend, woman. Stray from your path."
    • The guardian dragon warns the Furies, in SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8"
  • Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like "maybe we should be just friends" or "how very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.
    • Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9"
  • The thing you ought to remember about ravens, is that we belong equally to both genders. You don't see that every day. But we're as likely to be the Morrigan's as Odin's, as likely to be Eve's as Dream's.
    • Noah's raven, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9"
  • Listen, an eye's just an eye. A few more days, and he'll be something not even a raven would eat. Over to the ants..."
    • Noah's raven and Matthew, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9"
  • It was like a bad TV show. "He's a reincarnated serial killer— his partner's a bird. They're cops."
    • Matthew, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9"
  • "Now, majesty, banishment, decapitation, or something lingering with boiling oil in it somewhere?"
    "Cluracan, you are a rascal..."
    • Cluracan and Titania, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • A Puck is harder by far to hurt than some little lord of malice from the lands of ice and snow. We Pucks are old and hard and wild...
    • Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • I am the Puck, called Robin Goodfellow. I am a trickster, an antic prankster, a will o' the wisp. "Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loose upon the world." That's me.
    • Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • I bind you, Loki Sky Walker, malice-monger. I bind you with the guts of Narvi, your son. I bind you with frost and with fire, and with the weight of the world.
    • Odin, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • You guys're an elite corps. >>Khoff<< They say I'm hard and I am hard. They say I am a bastard, and I'll tell you what. I am a bastard. A hard, tough bastard. A tough, hard bastard with a pumpkin for a head. But that doesn't mean I can't be prouda you dumb lugs. And I am proud of you. Alla you--Wycziezbsky, O'Brien, McTavish, Silverstein, Pucci, and the little norwegian. While some guys have skedaddled, and others have bolted into the castle, we're the Joe's that have faced the facts. And the facts are this. Is this. Are... Whatever. >>Khoff<< >>Khoff<< We're at war.
    • Mervin's pep-talk, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • "Me? Lady, I'm your worst nightmare— a pumpkin with a gun."
    • Mervyn, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • Gods fear us. Demons fear us. We have hounded kings and angels. We have taken vengeance on worlds and universes. We are the Kindly Ones. We are the Eumenides.
    • The Furies, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • Yeah? Well, eumenides this!
    • Merv's reply to the Furies, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • "How... how dare you let that happen, Lord? How dare you?"
    "You will not speak to me like that, Lucien."
    "I doubt I'll be alive tomorrow, Lord. On that basis I find it particularly easy to say exactly what I think."
    • Dream and Lucien, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10"
  • "On reflection, while I cannot give you the thing itself, I could give you a dream of my love."
    "I already have that, my Lord."
    • Dream and Nuala, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11"

  • No miracles.
    No magic.
    No dreams.
    Only pain and death and visa slips.
    • Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11"
  • This will be felt across worlds and days as a reality storm; and, as it plays its course, conflicting realities will fall and spin and shatter across time and existence.
    • Destiny, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11"
  • A customer at Lux's, drunk and flirtatious, peeks beneath Mazikeen's half-mask. He satisfies his curiosity, as he loses, one after the other, his drink, his lunch, and his sanity. Mazikeen has no patience with men.
    • SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11"
  • "They aren't your memories."
    "They are all I have."
    • Lucien and The Corinthian: in SANDMAN #67, "The Kindly Ones:11"
  • Alianora foretold that I would receive my scars in my turn, like the one I left on her cheek, like the one I left on her heart. She knew it then.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11"
  • If you don't let me in, I will turn you into a demon half-face waitress night-club lady with a crush on her boss, and I'll make it so you've been that from the beginning of time to now and you'll never ever know if you were anything else and it will itch inside your head worse than little bugses.
    • Delirium threatens Mazikeen, in SANDMAN #68: "The Kindly Ones:12"
  • "Sorry, sweetheart. I don't do funerals. Life is, as they say, too short. And I can't wear black. I'm an autumn."
    "Asshole, Hal. The word you're looking for is asshole."
    • Rose and Hal, in SANDMAN #68: "The Kindly Ones:12"
  • "You're crying."
    "Lord Shaper is in dire need, and he doesn't love me."
    "Would it be better if he was in dire need, and did love you?"
    • Cluracan and Nuala, in SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13"
  • The poison spills into Loki's mouth and eyes; he writhes, and a city falls: and in the moment of pain he gains a certain clarity. The master manipulator realizes how, ultimately— how strangely, how elegantly— he too had been manipulated. Perhaps the sound he makes is laughter.
    • SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13"
  • I had the hubris originally to regard myself as a collaborator, as a co-author. Very rapidly I found myself reduced to the status of character, following something of a disagreement in the fundamental direction of the Creation.
    • Lucifer, in SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13"
  • It's the same old story... Whatever it turns into on the way, whatever it is you originally undertake to spin or knit or weave, keep it going long enough and, in the end, my lilies, it's always a winding sheet.
    • SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13"
  • "Flowers gathered in the morning,/Afternoon they blossom on,/Still are withered by the evening:/You can be me when I'm gone."
    • SANDMAN #69: "THe Kindly Ones:13"

The Wake

  • The family did not send to ask from whom the messenger had come; it was not the first time that messengers had visited them, after all. And there are some powers that no one, not even the Endless, seeks to inquire into too deeply.
    • Invitations are delivered in SANDMAN #70, part one of "The Wake"
  • The state of his bathroom— I'm not one to gossip, but there are things crusted on his sink that have not simply developed intelligent life but have in all probability by now evolved their own political systems.
    • Cain in SANDMAN #70, "The Wake" part one
  • Eblis O'Shaughnessy: you were created and gifted by five of the Endless, but you can neither dream nor, ultimately, destroy, and that shall be your triumph and that shall be your tragedy.
    • Destiny, in SANDMAN #70, part one of "The Wake"
  • I am not here to mourn him. I mourned the loss of my love a long time ago. I am here to say goodbye to a stranger who once did me a good turn. And to the man who gave my son the death he craved.
    • Calliope, in SANDMAN #71, part two of "The Wake"
  • The bonds of family bind both ways. They bind us up, support us, help us, and they are also a bond from which it is difficult, perhaps impossible to extricate oneself.
    • Desire, in SANDMAN #72, part three of "The Wake"
  • "The one I hate is where I'm just an actor on a strange television version of my life. Have you ever had that dream?" "Doesn't everyone?" "I don't."
    • Clark Kent, Batman, and Martian Manhunter, in SANDMAN #71, part two of "The Wake"
  • We were never lovers, and we never will be, now. I do not regret that, however. I regret the conversations we never had, the time we did not spend together. I regret that I never told him that he made me happy, when I was in his company. The world was the better for his being in it. These things alone do I now regret: things left unsaid. And he is gone, and I am old.
    • Lady Bast, in SANDMAN #72, part three of "The Wake"
  • I'm not a young man anymore. I'm retired now. But I sometimes think that all the things in my life that have made it worth the living have been as a result of my connection to the dead gentleman.
    • Wesley Dodds, in SANDMAN #72, part three of "The Wake"
  • I cared for him, very much. He was so wise; he seemed so certain of the rightness of his actions. And I, who do nothing but doubt, admired that in him. He was a creature of hope, for dreams are hopes, and echoes of hopes, and I am a creature of despair.
    • Despair, in SANDMAN #72, part three of "The Wake"
  • It's astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself into, if one works at it. And astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself out of, if one simply assumes that everything will, somehow or other, work out for the best.
    • Destruction, in SANDMAN #72, part three of "The Wake"
  • We never even noticed the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a load of bloody Italians poncing around claiming to be the golden age of the Greeks come around again. Nobody in England had even heard of the Renaissance until it had been over for centuries.
    • Hob Gadling, in SANDMAN #73, "Sunday Mourning"
  • "There were a lot of Moors and Africans in Spain and Italy in the old days. Remember Othello? Trust me, if Catherine of Aragon had been in Alabama in the 1950s they'd have made her ride in the back of the bus."
    • Hob, in SANDMAN #73, "Sunday Mourning"
  • "When I first met you I thought you were gay." "Why? 'Cos I'm English?" "Uh-uh. Because you seemed to know so many people who were dead." "... That's not funny." "No. It's not, is it?"
    • Guenevere and Hob, in SANDMAN #73, "Sunday Mourning"
  • "Father? I am your son. That is only a kitten. Why do you abandon me to chase after it?"
    "When you were alive, you were all my joy. Now you are dead. I see you only in my dreams. And when I awake my pillow is wet with tears. The kitten is living, and it needs my help."
    • Master Li in reply to his son, in SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • Why are you here, in this home of demons? Are you lost? Or are you also a demon? Forgive my bluntness, but I am an old man, and my flesh is sure to be stringy and lacking in taste: I doubt even a demon would relish it.
    • Master Li is frightened of Dream, in SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • I have no liking for prisons, Master Li. Sometimes I suspect that we build our traps ourselves, then we back into them, pretending amazement the while.
    • Dream, in SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • "My Lord, what was it the barbarian said, as the riders vanished?"
    "Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost. Fare you well Master Li."
    • Master Li and Dream, in SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • But truth or no, still I believe in the correct manner, and correctness in behaviour is one of the cardinal virtues. I place the kitten in my sleeve once more. I have saved his life, as he saved mine, and am responsible for him. We cannot evade our responsibilities.
    • Master Li, in SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • I am banished to the grey waste at the end of the world, but I mourn myself no longer; I cherish the pain in my hand. I imagine the taste of the mulberries in the violet dusk. And tomorrow I shall arrive in the town of Wei.
    • Master Li, in SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • Only the phoenix arises and does not descend. And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost.
    • SANDMAN #74, "Exiles"
  • "My own fine words notwithstanding, life is no play. We meet people once, and never see them again. There is no shape to events, no point at which we turn to the audience for their praise. No time at which we step behind the stage, to see the actors changing their wigs, and painting their faces, and muttering their lines." "But that is precisely where you are now, Will."
    • William Shakespeare and Dream, in SANDMAN #75, "The Tempest"
  • "I wanted a tale of graceful ends. I wanted a play about a king who ... leaves his kingdom .... About a man who turns his back on magic .... I am Prince of Stories, Will, but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever .... I thank you."
    • Dream to William Shakespeare, in SANDMAN #75, "The Tempest"