[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 13 November 2004]
The following extract from Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! almost killed me when I read it, and thus had to be shared.
The scene takes place as the newest member of Ankh-Morpork’s dilapidated Night Watch sees the Watch House for the first time.
He reached the Watch House. It was an ancient and surprisingly large building, wedged between a tannery and a tailor who made suspicious leather goods. It must have been quite imposing once, but quite a lot of it was now uninhabitable and patrolled only by owls and rats. Over the door a motto in the ancient tongue of the city was now almost eroded by time and grime and lichen, but could just be made out:
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC
It translated–according to Sergeant Colon, who had served in foreign parts and considered himself an expert on languages–as “To Protect and to Serve.”