I've been looking for this quote for ages.

  1. This is a Terry Pratchett book
  2. a character (maybe Granny Weatherwax?) talks about not liking / outright disliking people in general
  3. and this dislike is actually why they are compelled to always be kind to people / do the right thing by them

Don't know if this is too bare bones for someone to be able to identify it, but this is all I remember of the quote :(

  • Almost certainly Granny
    – Valorum
    Jun 5, 2022 at 15:37
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    'But... I... I... I'm the good one,' Lily murmured, her face pale with shock. 'I'm the good one. I can't lose. I'm the godmother. You're the wicked witch . . . and you've broken the mirror . . .' . . . 'You've got to help me put . . . the images must be balanced . . .' Lily murmured faintly, backing up against the remaining glass.'Good? Good? Feeding people to stories? Twisting people's lives? That's good, is it?' said Granny. 'You mean you didn't even have fun? If I'd been as bad as you, I've have been a whole lot worse. Better at it than you've ever dreamed of.' - Witches Abroad?
    – Valorum
    Jun 5, 2022 at 15:42
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    Veterinari kind of fits too. People are extremely messy, but treating them well makes the whole mechanism of society work.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 5, 2022 at 20:37
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    Vimes and Granny both embody that 'Almost don't trust myself with the darkness inside myself' theme. Granny makes that clear really early on in the witches books but Vimes grows into it peaking around Fifth Elephant. As such I could find lots of near matches but nothing exact
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 6, 2022 at 0:52
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    I'm positive there's a quote that fits this perfectly, and I think it's something Nanny Ogg says when she's talking to someone (perhaps Magret, or maybe Agnes) about Granny, but I can't quite bring it to mind and all my Pratchett books are packed away for now. I was thinking perhaps Maskerade, Lords and Ladies or Carpe Jugulum. If I can find the quote I'm looking for online I'll be back with an answer.
    – Spratty
    Jun 6, 2022 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


I think this is Granny Weatherwax

But you may be conflating two of her traits:

  1. Granny disliking all children.
  2. Always doing the right thing, because you know the difference between right and wrong.

Disliking children:

Granny Weatherwax personally disliked young Pewsey. She disliked all small children, which is why she got on with them so well. In Pewsey's case, she felt that no one should be allowed to wander around in just a vest even if they were four years old. And the child had a permanently runny nose and ought to be provided with a handkerchief or, failing that, a cork.

Nanny Ogg, on the other hand, was instant putty in the hands of any grandchild, even one as sticky as Pewsey

"Want sweetie," growled Pewsey, in that curiously deep voice some young children have. "Just in a moment, my duck, I'm talking to the lady," Nanny Ogg fluted. "Want sweetie now." "Bugger off, my precious, Nana's busy right this minute."

Pewsey pulled hard on Nanny Ogg's skirts. "Now sweetie now!"

Granny Weatherwax leaned down until her impressive nose was about level with Pewsey's gushing one. "If you don't go away," she said gravely, "I will personally rip your head off and fill it with snakes." "There!" said Nanny Ogg. "There's lots of poor children in Klatch that'd be grateful for a curse like that."

Pewsey's little face, after a second or two of uncertainty, split into a pumpkin grin. "Funny lady," he said.

Doing whats right

There actually several places this comes up in the witches books:

"The trouble is, you see, that if you do know Right from Wrong, you can't choose Wrong. You just can't do it and live. So.. if I was a bad witch I could make Mister Salzella's muscles turn against his bones and break them where he stood... if I was bad. I could do things inside his head, change the shape he thinks he is, and he'd be down on what had been his knees and begging to be turned into a frog... if I was bad. I could leave him with a mind like a scrambled egg, listening to colors and hearing smells...if I was bad. Oh yes." There was another sigh, deeper and more heartfelt. "But I can't do none of that stuff. That wouldn't be Right." — Masquerade

"Granny was an old-fashioned witch. She didn’t do good for people, she did right by them. But Nanny knew that people don’t always appreciate right." — The Sea and Little Fishes,

And some more that I can't find right now.

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    "But Nanny knew that people don’t always appreciate right." <- ain't that the truth!
    – FreeMan
    Jun 7, 2022 at 15:13

It is possible that it comes from The Truth, the 25th book in the Discworld series.

In the book, the protagonist William de Worde is handling a newspaper that also employs a vampire named Otto. On page 271 William has just finished his latest story for the newspaper when this conversation happens.

'And it's just a story,' he said, putting away the notebook. It does makes me feel a bit of a vampire-- oh . . . sorry.'

'It is okay,' said Otto. I understand. And I should like to thank you for givink me zis job. It means a lot to me, especially since I can see how nervous you are. Vich is understandable, of course.'

'I'm not nervous! I'm very much at home with other species!' said William hotly. Otto's expression was amicable, but it was also as penetrative as the smile of a vampire can be.

'Yes, I notice how careful you are to be friendly with the dvarfs and you are kind to me, also. It is a big effort vich is very commendable--'

William opened his mouth to protest, and gave up. 'All right, look, it's the way I was brought up, all right? My father was definitely very . . . in favour of humanity, well, ha, not humanity in the sense of. . . I mean, it was more that he was against--'

'Yes, yes, I understand.'

'And that's all there is to it, okay? We can all decide who we're going to be!'

  • I don't think William de Word dislikes people though so this doesn't fit, unless you're saying the OP is mixed up between him and his father?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 6, 2022 at 16:14
  • @AncientSwordRage The way I understand William de Worde is that he dislikes other races because of his upbringing, even though he doesn't want to. He is aware of this though and tries to compensate by making an effort to be nice. This is what Otto had noticed and compliment him on even though William doesn't wants to admit it. Jun 7, 2022 at 8:14

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