George Smiley: [looking at a nuclear naval treaty] This is hardly my territory.
Control: Don't let that worry you. Total ignorance of subject matter doesn't bother Percy.
Connie Sachs: I hate the real world. I like the Circus and all my lovely boys.
Connie Sachs: Poor loves. Trained to Empire, trained to rule the waves. Englishmen could be proud then, George. They could... All gone.
Roy Bland: [to Smiley] If there's no deal, you'll have to tell Control to get stuffed! I've paid, you see, you know that! I don't know what the hell I've bought with it, but I've paid a packet. Poznan, Budapest, Prague, back to Poznan - have you ever been to Poznan? - Sofia, Kiev, two bloody nervous breakdowns and still between the shafts! That's big money at any age. Even yours.
Bill Haydon: [to Guillaum] What the hell are you doing here, you pariah?
Roy Bland: You're an educated sort of a swine. "An artist is a bloke who can hold two fundamentally opposing views and still function." Who dreamed that one up?
George Smiley: Scott Fitzgerald.
Roy Bland: Well, Fitzgerald knew a thing or two. And I'm definitely functioning. As a good socialist, I'm going where the money is; as a good capitalist, I'm sticking with the revolution, because if you can't beat it, spy on it! Don't look like that, George. It's the name of the game these days. You scratch my conscience, I'll drive your Jag, right?
Bill Haydon: Merlin would do if he were my source, wouldn't he? If dazzling bloody Bill here pottered along and said he'd hooked a whacking big fish and wanted to play him alone and sod the expense, what would happen then? Control would say, "That's very nifty of you, Bill boy. You do it just the way you want, Bill Boy. Have some filthy jasmine tea."
Percy Alleline: Peter Guillam, you may not be aware of this, but I am posessed of an extremely forgiving nature. I positively seethe with goodwill.
Toby Esterhase: Ultra, ultra-sensitive, in fact, Peter.
Peter Guillam: In that case, Toby, I'll try and keep my mouth ultra, ultra-shut.
[Haydon notices an oil painting on Smiley's wall]
Bill Haydon: This is new. I fancy this very much.
George Smiley: Ann gave it to me.
Bill Haydon: Making amends?
George Smiley: Probably.
Bill Haydon: Must have been quite a sin. How is she?
Toby Esterhase: I do like the Service, George, I may be sentimental about it. But I prefer to stay in it.
Toby Esterhase: My problem is promotion. I mean the absence of it. I have so many years' senority that I feel actually quite embarrassed when these young fellows ask me to take orders from them.
George Smiley: Who, Toby? Which young fellows? Roy Bland? Percy? Would you call Percy young? Who?
Toby Esterhase: When you're overdue for promotion and working your fingers to the bone, anyone looks young who's above you on the ladder.
George Smiley: Perhaps Control could move you up a few rungs...
Toby Esterhase: Actually, George, I am not too sure he is able to.
Roy Bland: So, what's the deal?
George Smiley: What do you want?
Roy Bland: What about five thousand quid out of the reptile fund for starters?
George Smiley: And a house, and a car...
Roy Bland: And the kid to Eton.
George Smiley: Your father would turn over in his grave.
Roy Bland: Let him rotate, the old Commie thug!
Bill Haydon: We used to be a rather classy bunch. Why are we so vulgar these days?
Percy Alleline: Now, I would like to call your attention to the Foreign Office comment on the most recent Witchcraft product. And I quote, "This document sheds an extraordinary sidelight on Soviet aggressive thinking."
Bill Haydon: [innocently] Does that mean they like it, Percy?
Percy Alleline: Merlin is the fruit of a long cultivation by certain people in the Circus. People who are bound to me as I am to them. People who are not at all entertained by the failure rate about this place. There's been too much blown, too much lost, too much wasted. Too many scandals. I've said so many times, but I might as well have talked to the wind for all the heed he paid me.
Control: "He" means me, George.
Percy Alleline: The ordinary principles of tradecraft and security have gone to the wall in this service. It's all "divide and rule," stimulated from the top.
Control: Me again.
Percy Alleline: We're losing our livelihood. Our self-respect. We've had enough. We've had a bellyful, in fact.
Control: And like everybody who's ever had enough, he wants more!
George Smiley: "There are three of them, and Alleline." Control's words. He meant Operation Witchcraft. Merlin's minders or inventors, or programmers, or marionettes... or, what?
Control: And now there's a Witchcraft committee! The Minister's in the chair, Alleline's vice-chairman. Merlin's become an industry, it's THE industry and I'm not employed!
George Smiley: You won't even read Alleline's reports.
Control: I haven't time! Buying their way in with counterfeit money, tell them that. Tell them anything, I need time! There are three of them, and Alleline. Sweat them, George, bully them, any damn thing, give them whatever they eat, I need time!
Peter Guillam: Why was Control always so hostile to Alleline? Percy wasn't a complete fool.
George Smiley: Percy can flirt, Peter. And Control hadn't reckoned on the power of the Alleline lobby.
Peter Guillam: Who were they?
George Smiley: Golfers. "Golfers and Conservatives." That's what Control said to me.
George Smiley: You must assume, Peter, the Circus has dogs on you 24 hours a day. Think of it as a foreign country.
Connie Sachs: Jim, darling, could you make it tomorrow? Don't be cross Jim, it's not often my oldest, oldest lover comes to see me. Oh, George, if only I'd seen you first...
[a young man departs]
Connie Sachs: I'll give you a whole hour all to yourself! Honestly I will, darling!
Connie Sachs: [to George] My dunderhead. I still teach, I don't know why.
Connie Sachs: So what does George want from Connie, you bad boy?
George Smiley: Her memory. To go over some very old ground, Connie.
Connie Sachs: Hear that, Flush? First they chuck us out with an old bone, and now they come begging to us!
Control: Percy Alleline would sell his mother for a knighthood, and this service for a seat in the House of Lords!
Control: You're sure he left you out, George?
[George stares at Control, Control raises his hands apologetically]
George Smiley: I don't seem to have very much on Operation Testify. Would you...?
Peter Guillam: Of course, George.
George Smiley: And within six months of Bill Haydon's diagnosis, Control was indeed dead.
Peter Guillam: And what killed him? Operation Witchcraft or Operation Testify?
George Smiley: Neither. Let's not be melodramatic, Control would disapprove. He died of old age... a little early. But Testify destroyed his function in life, which was a form of murder.
Bill Haydon: Control's going potty, and if I'm not mistaken he's dying. It's just a question of which gets him first.
Percy Alleline: The reading room will be known for cover purposes as the conference room of the Adriatic Working Party. The AWP room, for short.
Control: [snorts] Thank you.
Percy Alleline: Customers with reading rights will not have passes, since these, like keys, can be too accessible. Instead, they will appear on a special list with their photographs, and they will identify themselves personally to MY janitor.
Control: WHOSE janitor, Percy?
Bill Haydon: Well, he's already got his own personal wizard. The odd commissionaire seems modest enough domestic staff.