"We used play together when I was a young wan. Wance I had to lave the Bog of Cats and when I returned years later this swan here came swoopin' over the bog to welcome me home, came right up to me and kissed me hand."
Hester says this to the Ghost Fancier in the first scene of the play. When the Ghost Fancier asks her why she is dragging a dead swan through the snow, she explains that she has long had a special connection to the swan.
"If he thinks he can go on treatin' me the way he's been treatin' me, he's another thing comin'. I'm not to be flung aside at his biddin'. He'd be nothin' today if it wasn't for me."
Hester says this to her friend, Monica, in the first scene of the play, suggesting that she is not over her affair with Carthage and believes that they can be together again.
"I’ve a right to sit in me own yard without bein ogled by the likes of you."
When Xavier tries to warn Hester not to come to Caroline and Carthage's wedding, and tries to run her off the land on which she grew up, she fires back that she has the right to stay, and insinuates that she also has the right to not get "ogled" by him, suggesting that Xavier is more lascivious than he seems.
"I knew your mother, I helped her bring ya into the world, knew ya when ya were chained like a rabid pup to this auld caravan, so don't you look down on me for handlin' a mouse or two."
The Catwoman says this to Hester in their scene together, reminding Hester that she was friends with her mother and helped to raise her. The Catwoman has a special insight into Hester's past, and her future.
"Lave this place now or ya never will."
Of all the people who are trying to convince Hester to leave the Bog of Cats, the Catwoman is the most sympathetic, warning her that if she does not leave, she will die. The Catwoman has the ability to see into the future and foresees that Hester's fate will be a sad one if she stays at the Bog of Cats.
"There's such a thing as a father lovin' his daughter as a father should, no more, no less, somethin' you have never known..."
Xavier Cassidy says this dismissively to Hester, suggesting that she projects all of her own paternal issues onto the people around her.
"As a child he was uncommon good, never cried, never disobeyed, never raised his voice wance to me, never went about with a grumpy puss on him."
At the awkward wedding between Caroline and Carthage, Mrs. Kilbride makes this speech that does not even mention the wedding itself, but only her affection for her son, Carthage.
"Well, Carthage, ya think them were only idle threats I made? Ya think I can be flung in a bog hole like a bag of newborn pups? Let's see how ya like this—Ya hear that sound? Them's your cattle howlin'."
Hester says this to herself at the beginning of Act 3, after she has burned down Carthage's barn. Act 3 marks the beginning of Hester's descent into anarchic madness, as she seeks revenge and control by any means possible.
"I was goin' to split it with ya when we reached the shore, ya didn't have to cut me throat for it."
Joseph, Hester's dead brother, tells her in Act 3 that he intended to share his money with her, but that she cut his throat instead. It is in this scene that we learn about Hester's murderous act.
"It's alright, I'll take ya with me, I won't have ya as I was, waitin' a lifetime for somewan to return, because they don't, Josie, they don't."
Hester says this to her daughter, Josie, in the final moments of the play, when Josie says that she wants to stay with her mother. Hester agrees to her daughter's request that they not be parted, but she has gone insane in her desperation, and is about to murder her daughter in order to keep her close.
By the Bog of Cats Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for By the Bog of Cats is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.