King Mongkut of Siam
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Quotes for
King Mongkut of Siam (Character)
from Anna and the King (1999)

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Anna and the King (1999)
King Mongkut: I never danced with an Englishwoman before, mem.
Anna Leonowens: Nor I with a king.

King Mongkut: [to Anna] When a woman who has much to say says nothing, her silence can be deafening.

Anna Leonowens: I would like to know why... , if science can unravel something as beautiful as music... , why it cannot posit a solution for a schoolteacher and a king.
King Mongkut: The manner in which people might understand such new possibilities is also process of evolution.
Anna Leonowens: Everything in Siam has its own time.

Anna Leonowens: You have the power to lead your people...
King Mongkut: Now is not the time to change the way that things are done!
Anna Leonowens: Well, if not now, then when? How many more people must die so that you might save face?

King Mongkut: You are teacher?
Anna Leonowens: Yes, Your Majesty, I am.
King Mongkut: You do not look sufficient of age for scientific teaching. How many years have you?
Anna Leonowens: Enough to know that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand, Your Majesty.

King Mongkut: [to Anna and Louis] The Royal Family: Twenty three wives, forty two concubines, fifty eight offspring, and ten more on the way. Each one unique. Each one my hope for the future. I understand your surprise. Not as many as the Emperor of China, but he did not spend half of life in monastery. King making up for lost time.

King Mongkut: Presenting original pupil and heir apparent. Prince Chulalongkorn.
[to the Prince]
King Mongkut: This, my son, is your new teacher.
Anna Leonowens: It is a great honor, Your Highness.

The Kralahome, Prime Minister: Your Majesty, I believe there has been enough insult caused by this woman who believes herself to be the equal of a man.
King Mongkut: Not the equal of a man, Chao Phya. The equal of a King.

King Mongkut: Why did you come back?
Anna Leonowens: Because I could not imagine a Siam without you.

King Mongkut: [to Princess Fa-ying] I will be there in your dreams, as you will be in mine

Anna Leonowens: My mind has taken me down many roads of late. All of which lead absolutely nowhere. What would Buddha say of that?
King Mongkut: That roads are for journeys, ma'am, not destinations.

King Mongkut: Gazing at the moon.
Anna Leonowens: Yes, it is beautiful.
King Mongkut: As the sun rises, she will surrender the night, but she is always with him, even when he cannot see her.
Anna Leonowens: It must be a great comfort to him.
King Mongkut: Yes.

King Mongkut: Until now, Madame Leonowens, I did not understand supposition,man can be satisfied with only one woman.

King Mongkut: l have decided to give self anniversary dinner and invite important English nobles and diplomats.
Anna Leonowens: l don't understand.
King Mongkut: French lndochina grows stronger and more aggressive. But if l improve our foreign intercourse with your queen's special envoy, French will think three times before trying to undermine Siam.
Anna Leonowens: That's very clever, Your Majesty.
King Mongkut: As if to sound English bugles in own defense. You shall take charge of all formalities as Mem is obvious choice to make certain guests feel at home.
Anna Leonowens: But... the anniversary is when?
King Mongkut: Three weeks from yesterday.
Anna Leonowens: Three weeks? That's impossible!
King Mongkut: Mem... The egg is in the bottle.

Anna Leonowens: [ascending a staircase, arriving late for dinner, a little out of breath] Forgive me, Your Majesty. l believe the sun set a little earlier today.
King Mongkut: [amused] Mem. You arrange all this to influence positive future of Siam. And now you steal attention away from it.
Anna Leonowens: [shyly] Well, that was not my intention, Your Majesty.

King Mongkut: You! Why did you not go to monastery like king order?
Anna Leonowens: Because l lost one man to the jungle, Your Majesty. l was not about to let that happen again.


The King and I (1956)
King: Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

King: When I sit, you sit. When I kneel, you kneel. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

King: You will order the finest gold chopsticks.
Anna: Your Majesty, chopsticks? Don't you think knives and forks would be more suitable?
King: I make mistake, the British not scientific enough to know how to use chopsticks.

King: ...Pairs of male elephants to be released into the forests of America. There it is hoped that they will grow in number and the people can tame them and use them as beasts of burden.
Anna: But your majesty, I don't think you mean pairs of MALE elephants.

King: [chanting to Buddha before banquet preparations] Help also Mrs. Anna to keep awake for scientific sewing of dresses, even though she be only a woman and a Christian and therefore unworthy of your interest!
Anna: [greatly offended, rising] Your Majesty!
King: A promise is a promise! Head must not be higher than mine! A promise!

King: You are very difficult woman!

King: You will say no more!
Anna: I will say no more, because there is no more to say!

King: You are very difficult woman!
Anna: Perhaps so, Your Majesty.

Anna: Then how do you explain, your majesty, that many men remain faithful to only one wife?
King: They are sick

King: Now, shall Mr. Lincoln be winning this war he is fighting at present?
Anna: No one knows really.
King: Well, does he have enough guns and elephants for transporting things?
Anna: I don't think they have elephants in America, your majesty.
King: No elephants? No wonder he is not winning war!

King: I do not remember such words.
Anna: I remember them.
King: I will do remembering!

Anna: Oh, but this is a lie!
King: [in agreement] It is a FALSE lie!

King: You think you teach King lesson, but this is one lesson you do not be paid for teaching. In the future, you will stop instructing wives and children in silly English song "Home Sweet House". To remind me of breaking promises I never make, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Anna: Your majesty, I do not intend to have my boy brought up in a harem, and you did promise me a house; "a brick residence adjoining the palace," those were your very words in the letter.
King: [obviously does remember] I do not remember such words.
Anna: I remember them.
King: I will do remembering. Who is king here? I remind you, so you remember that? I do not remember any promises. I do not remember anything, except that you are my servant.
Anna: Oh, no, your majesty.
King: What, what, what? I said you are my servant.
Anna: No, your majesty, that is not true. I am most certainly not your servant, and what is more, if you do not give me the house you promised, I shall be forced to return to England immediately.
[children protest]
Princess Ying Yaawolak: I believe in snow!
Lady Thiang: Do not let her go away.
King: I let her do nothing that is not my pleasure. It is my pleasure that you stay here, in palace, in palace!
Anna: No, your majesty.
King: [heavy sigh] Why do you wish to leave these children, all of whom are loving you so extraordinarily?
Anna: I do not wish to leave them. I love them, too, quite extraordinarily, but I cannot stay in a country where a promise has no meaning.
King: I will hear no more about this promise!
Anna: A land where there is talk of honor and a wish for Siam to take its place among the modern nations of the world, where there is talk of great changes, but where everything still remains according to the wishes of the king.
King: You will say no more! No more!
Anna: I will say no more, because there is no more to say. Come, Louis.
[Anna and Louis leave. Children protest]
King: Out, out, OUT!
[everyone, except the King, leaves]

Anna: In your house she's just another woman. Like a bowl of rice is a bowl of rice no different from any other bowl of rice.
King: Now you understand about women! So, many English books talk about love etc etc etc ha!
Anna: You disapprove?
King: It is a silly complication of a general simplicity. A woman is designed for pleasing man that is all. A man is deigned to be pleased by many women
Anna: Then how do you explain, your majesty, that many men remain faithful to one wife
King: They are sick.
Anna: Oh, but you do expect women to be faithful?
King: Naturally!
Anna: Well why naturally?
King: Because it is natural. It is like old Siamese saying. A girl is like a blossom, with honey for just one man. A man is like a honey bee and gather all he can. To fly from blossom to blossom a honey must be free. But blossom must not ever fly from bee to bee to bee.
Anna: Hee hee. Oh your majesty in England we have a far different attitude. We believe for a man to be truly happy he must love one woman and one woman only.
King: This idea was invented by woman.
Anna: Oh but it's a great idea your majesty and in England we're brought up with it. When your young and at your first dance.
King: Young girl? They dance also. Like I see you in arms of stranger tonight not a husband.
Anna: Why of course!
King: I would not permit it.
Anna: Ha when your young and at your first dance, and your sitting on a small guilt chair with your eyes lowered, terrified that you'll be a wall flower. Suddenly, you see two black shoes, a white waist coat, a face, it speaks.

Anna: All properly dressed English ladies always wear undergarments.
King: I have opinion that, in this regard, England is very backward nation.


The King and I (1999)
The King of Siam: [praying to Buddha] Buddha, please help Anna keep awake for scientific preparation of banquet, even though she is a woman and a Christian and therefore unworthy of your interest.
[Anna looks indignantly at the King]

[after Anna has just received a house outside the palace]
Anna Leonowens: I'm speechless.
The King of Siam: For once!

[when Louis is hiding behind his mother in fright]
The King of Siam: Never hide behind woman's skirt, it's not brave. Also, impossible to know when she sit down!

The King of Siam: Someday, you too will know everything.
Prince Chululongkorn: When do I know that I know everything?
The King of Siam: When you are king.


Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
Kralahome: [the Kralahome has just arrived to tell King Mongkut of the loss of Cambodia. Anna, meanwhile, continues to press the King about the issue of a private residence, to the point where even the King's staff members are singing "Home, Sweet Home"] Your Majesty! It has begun, Toongramon. We've lost Cambodia. Our governor of Cambodia has made a treaty with the French government. They have recognized Cambodia as independent of Siam, placed it under their "protection," and this governor of ours still protests his loyalty to Your Majesty.
King Mongkut: So, a camel's nose is in the tent. The partition of Siam, it has begun.
Kralahome: For a long time, we've said this hour must come. Now it is no longer talk. It is upon us. What do we do?
King Mongkut: Nothing. We shall do nothing whatever in this matter... because there is nothing we can do.
Kralahome: Your father took such a man once and burned out both his eyes, hung him in the sun in a cage over cool running water, until he went mad.
King Mongkut: [Heartbroken, yes resigned] We have not the right to waste ourselves on something which cannnot be changed. We shall save what strength and cunning we may have to hold together what is left of Siam. And if we cannot save all that is left, we shall save what we can.
Kralahome: [after a long pause] Tell me something Toongramon. A long time ago, I came to you and asked you to leave a life of peace, and to be King. If I could ask you now to make that choice, what would your answer be? Think well before you answer that. Think what this can mean to you.
King Mongkut: You feel great responsibility for me, don't you, Chow Koon?
Kralahome: You might still be living peacefully at the monastery if I had not persuaded you. Perhaps it is not too late to return. Think well on that. The monastery instead of this place, where you have only enemies and danger. Well, you know this is not the end. The ships of Europe will crowd thicker on our seas, greedy for conquest. They have the power... and the cunning. They know how to set your nobles against you, how to buy and threaten them. How can you hope to hold Siam together against enemies without and within? All that it can mean to you is that, in the end, you will die in a lost cause.
[pause]
Kralahome: I have done you a sorry service to have brought you to this moment.
King Mongkut: [after a moment] I think you take too much credit on yourself, Chow Koon. There is a man born for every task, and I was born for this one. Remember, I was prince before I was monk. Let me ask you, if you were in my place, what would your answer be?
[Long pause. He cannot answer]
King Mongkut: Then give me as much credit as you allow yourself, my friend.
Kralahome: If only we had more time.
King Mongkut: [Court musician can be heard playing "Home, Sweet Home" outside the King's window] She's got someone else at it.
Kralahome: She?
King Mongkut: That woman and her house!
[Calls to court musician]
King Mongkut: Stop it!
[Music stops]
King Mongkut: Take a lesson from her, my friend, and you'll never give up on anything. Give her a house.
Kralahome: But...
King Mongkut: Give her a house! If she was meant to be a sign to us, she deserves a reward.
[Really angry now]
King Mongkut: And if she wasn't, well, give her a house anyway, before she drives me out of my mind!

King Mongkut: Now always best time.