Stevens: You know what I am doing, Miss Kenton? I am placing my thoughts elsewhere while you chatter away.
Miss Kenton: Look at it! Is that or is it not the wrong chinaman?
Stevens: Miss Kenton, I'm very busy. I am surprised that you have nothing better to do than stand around all day...
Miss Kenton: Mr. Stevens, look at that chinaman and tell me the truth!
Stevens: Miss Kenton, I would ask you to keep your voice down. What would the other servants think to hear us shouting at the top of our voices about... chinamen?
Miss Kenton: And I would ask you, Mr. Stevens, to turn around and look at the chinaman.
Lewis: You are, all of you, amateurs. And international affairs should never be run by gentlemen amateurs. Do you have any idea of what sort of place the world is becoming all around you? The days when you could just act out of your noble instincts, are over. Europe has become the arena of realpolitik, the politics of reality. If you like: real politics. What you need is not gentlemen politicians, but real ones. You need professionals to run your affairs, or you're headed for disaster!
James Stevens: I don't believe a man can consider himself fully content until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer.
James Stevens: If two members of staff have to fall in love and decide to get married, there's nothing one can say. But what I do find a major irritation are those persons who are simply going from post to post looking for romance.
Stevens: In my philosophy, Mr. Benn, a man cannot call himself well-contented until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer. Of course, this assumes that one's employer is a superior person, not only in rank, or wealth, but in moral stature.
Father: There was this English butler out in India. One day, he goes in the dining room and what does he see under the table ? A tiger. Not turning a hair, he goes straight to the drawing room. "Hum, hum. Excuse me, my lord," and whispering, so as not to upset the ladies : "I'm very sorry my lord. There appears to be a tiger in the dining room. Perhaps his Lordship will permit use of the twelve bores ?" They go on drinking their tea. And then, there's three gunshots. Well, they don't think nothing of it, this being out in India where they're used to anything. When the butler is back to refresh the teapots, he says, cool as a cucumber : "Dinner will be served at the usual time, my lord. And I am pleased to say there will be no discernible traces left of the recent occurence by that time." There will be no discernible traces of the recent occurrence by that time !