Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.
“All men have stars,” he answered, “but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others, they are no more than little lights in the sky. And for still others, for scholars, they are problems. For my businessman, they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You – you alone – will have stars as nobody else has them.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night…You, only you, will have stars that can laugh!!”
And he laughed again.
“And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you’ll be glad you’ve known me. You will always be my friend. You’ll feel like laughing with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure…And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, it’s the stars: they always make me laugh!’ And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you…”