The Quotable Downton Abbey

Apparently, Downton Abbey’s cool enough for even the ultra-hip New York Magazine to do a piece on it. Last week, they did an online article that listed Maggie Smith’s best quotes from the series. While she definitely got the best lines, I think there are others worth quoting. Here are my favorites; feel free to add any I’ve forgotten in the comments!

Mrs Patmore (after seeing Daisy dancing with Thomas): “Daisy! Stop that nonsense before you put your joints out!”

O’Brien (talking about Cora): “I’d like to give her the old heave ho–in a dark alley somewhere.”

Mary: “Seems like a lot of trouble for a cousin.”
Edith: “But not a fiance.”
Mary: “He wasn’t a fiance. Not a real one, anyway.”

Robert: “Don’t be so dramatic, Carson, you’re not playing Sydney Carton.”

Evelyn Napier (to Mary, apologizing for all the trouble Pamouk’s death caused): “I brought him here; if it’s not my fault, whose was it?”

Mary: “Poor darling. I heard she had to walk for miles. I don’t think I would have gotten down no matter how lame the horse.”
Edith: “No, I don’t believe you would.”

Violet: “Oh, the flower show? I thought I was in for another ribbing about the hospital.”
Isobel: “No, this time it’s the flower show.”

Sybil: “Dragon! If you don’t move right now, I’ll have you boiled for glue!”

Doctor (about using a new treatment for dropsy): “I wish I was more familiar with the treatment.”
Isobel: “Will that be your excuse when he dies?”

Cora: “No one ever tells you about raising daughters. You think it’ll be like Little Women, and instead they’re at each others’ throats.”

Robert: “My dear fellow, I brought you here to interfere.”

Robert (about Matthew wanting to get rid of Molesley): “Is that quite fair, to deprive a man of his livelihood when he’s done nothing wrong? Your mother derives some satisfaction from her work at the hospital, I think, some sense of self worth? Would you really deny the same to poor old Molesley? And when you are master here, is the butler to be dismissed? Or the footmen? How many maids or kitchen staff will be allowed to stay, or must every one be driven out? We all have different parts to play, and we must all be allowed to play them.”

Bates: “Even Mr. Carson wasn’t born standing at attention.”
Thomas: “I hope not, for his mother’s sake.”

Evelyn Napier (to Cora): “I’m not a vain man, I do not consider myself to be a very interesting person, but I do hope my future wife should think me so. A woman who finds me boring could never love me and I believe a marriage should be based on love. At least at the start.”

Bates and Mrs. Hughes: “Good riddence!”

Bates (to Thomas): “You listen to me, you filthy little rat: if you don’t lay off I will punch your shining teeth straight through the back of your skull.”

Cora (to Mary): “The point is, when you refused Matthew, you were an earl’s daughter with an unsullied reputation. Now, you are damaged goods.”

Robert: “Mary can be such a child. She thinks that if you put a toy down, it’ll still be sitting there when you want to play with it again.”

Anna: “I love you, Mr. Bates! And I know it’s not ladylike to say so, but I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be.”
Bates: “You are a lady to me, and I never knew a finer one.”



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