College of Magics

Irina Rempt irina at
Wed Aug 20 18:04:08 EDT 2003

On Wednesday 20 August 2003 22:21, Robyn Starkey wrote:
> I have a plea for help. Because my books are in storage, I don't have
> access to my copy of College of Magics, and I need a quote. I am
> looking for the passage in which Faris has a revelation when her
> deportment teacher says something like, she needs to know the rules
> so that she can flout them. I want what the teacher says, and Faris'
> response, and possibly the sentence that introduces the exchange. Can
> someone who has the book please help me out? I would be ever so
> grateful.

Okay, can do. I think the real substance starts earlier; take what you 

   Faris moved her head aside. Very distinctly, she said, "Deportment is 
a sterile discipline. Habit built on superstition."
   "Criticize it if you please. You are still no good at it."
   "There's nothing to be good at. It's just an arbitrary set of 
standards. Why should I waste time learning to point my toes in a way 
that went out of fashion three hundred years ago? Why shouldn't I set 
my own fashions?"
   "You must form your own fashions in a way which demonstrates that you 
flout the standards from knowledge, not from ignorance," replied Dame 
Brachet. "When you leave Greenlaw College, you may or may not be able 
to practice magic. That is a matter of talent and skill. But you will 
certainly be a witch of Greenlaw, and that station in the world carries 
expectations with it. You will be expected to speak with those of high 
degree and to speak fair to high and low. Your manner will be as vital 
as your matter, and in some sad cases, your matter will not amount to 
much. So you had better learn a manner to make up for your other 
   From the first words, Faris followed this speech with eyes narrowed. 
"But I may flout the standards?"
   "Of course," Dame Brachet said, with some asperity. "What do you 
think standards are for? Now drop your elbows and tuck your chin. Very 
good, Faris. Now point your toe."
   From that day, Faris's hands shook no more.

   Irina (or rather, Caroline)

Vesta veran, terna puran, farenin.
Beghinnen can ick, volherden will' ick, volbringhen sal ick.          Latest: 11-May-2003

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