The Sandman
Fables & Reflections

The Sandman Library

Preludes & Nocturnes
The Doll's House
Dream Country
Season of Mists
A Game of You
Fables & Reflections
Brief Lives
World's End
The Kindly Ones
The Wake

Some dreams are different. Most dreams are a tangle of things: foreground and background, subject and object. I once had a dream in which I was chasing a mad clown around Saint Patrick's Cathedral, which was also my old high school. And after a while I was the clown they were chasing.

Fear of Falling

MORPHEUS: It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb, you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?

Fear of Falling

MORPHEUS: Sometimes you wake, and sometimes, yes, you die. But there is a third alternative.

Fear of Falling

TODD: And sometimes, when you fall, you learn to fly.

Fear of Falling

DESPAIR: Dreams. What are dreams? Dreams are nothing, my brother.

MORPHEUS: Dreams are "nothing," sister? Without dreams, there could be no despair.

Three Septembers and a January

DEATH: Did you ever heard the story of the 36 Tzaddikim? 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.

Three Septembers and a January

JOSHUA NORTON: I must confess, I have always wondered what lay beyond life, my dear.

DEATH: Yeah, everybody wonders. And sooner or later everybody gets to find out.

Three Septembers and a January

LOUIS -ANTOINE: Liberty is a bitch who must be bedded on a mattress of corpses.


LOUIS -ANTOINE: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of our men and women.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: It is dearness only that gives every things its value."

[Thomas Paine]


GRANDPA: One day he took a handkerchief and warpped up his few posessions -- some tarnished bronze coins, as small bone that he had carved into the shape of a small bone, a thin wooden finger-ring his mother had left him...

CELESTE: A small bone that he had what?

GRANDPA: Carved into the shape of a small bone.

CELESTE: But it was a small bone already.

GRANDPA: He carved it into the shape of a different small bone, all right? Look, Celeste, this is what happened, okay? Do I ask you to explain Michael Jackson lyrics?

CELESTE: I don't like Michael Jackson any more. Only dweebs and kids listen to Michael Jackson.

GRANDPA: Last week, you liked Michael Jackson, this week you don't like Michael Jackson. So what am I? A mind reader?

The Hunt

In the black shadow of Baba Yaga babies screamed and mothers miscarried; milk soured and men went mad... Jews were burned in their houses and gypsies were beaten to death. Nightbirds screamed and owls hooted and wolves howled.

She beat her pestile three times against the side of her mortar. Churches fell down, roads cracked, towers crumbled, and Baby Yaga rose high into the air, screeching loud enough to wake the dead.

The Hunt

... wishes are sometimes best left ungranted...

The Hunt

MARCUS: If it is the god's will that he cannot work, then let the gods feed him and give him coins.


CAIUS: The gods exist. I have seen them. And there are others, who stand behind the gods... those whom even Jupiter must own his superiors.

LYCIUS: Eh? Who could be greater than Jupiter the greatest and most powerful?

CAIUS: Hm. Firstly, Terminus, the God of Boundaries. Jupiter must bow to him; boundaries are the most important of things, Lycius. And secondly... but I do not know who they are. They are whispered of in the inner mysteries: the seven, who are not prayed to, who are not gods, who were never men.


CAIUS: I will be a god when I die, Lycius. Already they begin to weave stories about me, presaging my divinity. They say that my mother, Atia, fell asleep at the temple of Apollo, and a snake made its way into her womb, and fertilized her.

LYCIUS: And is it true?

CAIUS: Of course not. My mother was entered by nothing more remarkable than my father's penis.


CAIUS: We write out names in the sand; and then the waves roll in and wash them away. But we can leave things behind us. I am leaving an empire.


LYCIUS: Why aren't you king?

CAIUS: Names... names. They offered Julius Caeser the crown, and he refused it. That's reason enough. The romans are a proud people. They would not permit themselves to be ruled by a king. So I called myself imperator -- commander. And they follow me, and obey me as they would a king.

People fascinate me, Lycius. It is within my power to give them back a republic. I almost did, twice, when I was scared and weak. And it is within their power to take back all power from me; but they will not. Humanity. They follow leaders -- queens or kings, chiefs or emperors. We tell them what to do, and they do it. We know no more than they than they, but still they follow us, blindly as people lost in the catacombs would follow a child carrying a flaming torch.

LYCIUS: And what do you follow then, you leaders -- to make us follow you, and obey you?

CAIUS: We follow our dreams.


MORPHEUS: I am here to tell you a story, Caius Octavius. Because you wake every night, screaming.

CAIUS: You are a god.

MORPHEUS: I am no god. But I am here as a favor to a god.

CAIUS: A... favor?

MORPHEUS: All gods begin in my realm, Caius Ovtavius. They walk your world for a span, and when they are old they return to my world to die.


There's a magic man as comes to you when it's time for you to sleep. He's tall and pale, and his clothes are every color of the rainbow. He carries a bag of magic sand by his side. You can't see him, Marco, but he can see you. He throws the magic sand into your eyes, and that's what sends you off to dreamland. That's the sand you find in your eyes when you wake.

Soft Places

MARCO POLO: Are the dreams, too?

FIDDLER'S GREEN: Oh, yes. After their fashion. But then, we are all dreams, in our fashion.

Soft Places

ORPHEUS: Uncle? Won't you wish us well?

DESTINY: I am Destiny. I am Potmos. I do not wish. I know. What must happen will happen. That is the way of it.

Orpheus, The Song of Orpheus, Chapter One

HIPPOGRIFF: Orpheus. We have heard of your loss; you have our sympathies also.

ORPHEUS: I do not need your pity, Hippogriff.

HIPPOGRIFF: It was freely given, boy. You should not scorn it.

ORPHEUS: Don't pity me.

MORPHEUS: You should have gone to her funeral.


MORPHEUS: To say goodbye.

ORPHEUS: I have not yest said goodbye to Eurydice.

MORPHEUS: You should. You are mortal: it is the mortal way. You attend the funeral, you bid 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.

Orpheus, The Song of Orpheus, Chapter Two

ORPHEUS: We cannot be together alive. We can be together in the underworld. Cold and pale and immobile, but together. Together we will whisper in the shallow voices of the dead; together we will wait in the darkness. And, in the end -- but together -- we will drink the waters of Lethe, that bring forgetfulness.

DESTRUCTION: That's the stupidest thing I've heard in centuries. Ohh, Orpheus, you're a strange child. I think you are more in love with the idea of your dead love than you ever were with the girl herself.

Orpheus, The Song of Orpheus, Chapter Two

DEATH: That isn't going to happen. You don't go to the underworld without dying first.

ORPHEUS: But heroes and gods visit the underworld. Herakles chained Cerberus...

DEATH: Listen, idiot. You can't go to the underworld and come back alive. Not if you're mortal. And 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.

ORPHEUS: Uncle Olethros said you could do it. He said you could do anything. He said there were rules. But that you could do it

DEATH: Your uncle Olethros has a big mouth. You know that?

Orpheus, The Song of Orpheus, Chapter Two

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.

Parliament of Rooks

CAIN: It's a mystery from which we derive the collective noun we use for these birds. Like a murder of crows, a tiding of magpies, an unkindness of raven... a parliament of rooks.

Parliament of Rooks

EVE: I'm not your mother, Cain.

CAIN: You're everybody's mother.

EVE: That's a matter of opinion.

Parliament of Rooks

EVE: Bodies are strange. Some people have real problems with the stuff that goes on inside them. You find out that inside someone you know there's just mucus and meat and slime and bone. They menstruate, salivate, defecate and cry. You know? Sometimes it can just kill the romance.

Parliament of Rooks

ABEL: Death was a little older than Dream. Things had the potential to die before they had the potential to dream

Parliament of Rooks

MATTHEW: Look, can I ask a dumb question? All this biblical stuff. I mean, how true is it? Are you guys the real Cain and Abel? Are you the real Eve? And I mean y'know, how does it all tie in with cavemen and dinosaurs and all that shit?

Parliament of Rooks

MORPHEUS: It is unwise to summon what you cannot dismiss.