Quotes by: T. E. Lawrence
|T. E. Lawrence
Lawrence in 1919
||Thomas Edward Lawrence
||Lawrence of Arabia, El Aurens
16 August 1888|
Tremadog, Caernarfonshire, Wales
||19 May 1935
Bovington Camp, Dorset, England
||St Nicholas, Moreton, Dorset
Kingdom of Hejaz
Royal Air Force
|Years of service
||Colonel and Aircraftman
First World War
Siege of Medina
Battle of Aqaba
Capture of Damascus
Battle of Megiddo
||Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Knight of the Legion of Honour (France)
Croix de guerre (France)
When I am angry, I pray God to swing our globe into the fiery sun and prevent the sorrows of the not-yet-born: but when I am content, I want to lie forever in the shade, till I become a shade myself.
This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought.
Isn't it true that the fault of birth rests somewhat on the child? I believe it's we who led our parents on to bear us, and it's our unborn children who make our flesh itch.
Bedouin ways were hard even for those brought up to them, and for strangers, terrible: a death in life.
A first difficulty of the Arab movement was to say who the Arabs were. Being a manufactured people, their name had been changing in sense slowly year by year. Once it meant an Arabian. There was a country called Arabia; but this was nothing to the point.
Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another in the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven.
The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor.
I've been & am absurdly over-estimated. There are no supermen & I'm quite ordinary, & will say so whatever the artistic results. In that point I'm one of the few people who tell the truth about myself.
The common base of all the Semitic creeds, winners or losers, was the ever present idea of world-worthlessness. Their profound reaction from matter led them to preach bareness, renunciation, poverty; and the atmosphere of this invention stifled the minds of the desert pitilessly.
Men have looked upon the desert as barren land, the free holding of whoever chose; but in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to it, against aggression.
Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals.
To me an unnecessary action, or shot, or casualty, was not only waste but sin.
Arab civilizations had been of an abstract nature, moral and intellectual rather than applied; and their lack of public spirit made their excellent private qualities futile. They were fortunate in their epoch: Europe had fallen barbarous; and the memory of Greek and Latin learning was fading from men's minds.
It seemed that rebellion must have an unassailable base, something guarded not merely from attack, but from the fear of it: such a base as we had in the Red Sea Parts, the desert, or in the minds of the men we converted to our creed.
All men dream, but nor equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. This I did.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
The Beduin could not look for God within him: he was too sure that he was within God.
All the revision in the world will not save a bad first draft: for the architecture of the thing comes, or fails to come, in the first conception, and revision only affects the detail and ornament, alas!
A man who gives himself to be a possession of aliens leads a Yahoo life, having bartered his soul to a brute-master. He is not of them. He may stand against them, persuade himself of a mission, batter and twist them into something which they, of their own accord, would not have been.
The desert Arab found no joy like the joy of voluntarily holding back. He found luxury in abnegation, renunciation, self restraint. He made nakedness of the mind as sensuous as nakedness of the body. He saved his own soul, perhaps, and without danger, but in a hard selfishness.
The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the modern commander.