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Thomas More quotes (showing 1-30 of 101)

“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“A pretty face may be enough to catch a man, but it takes character and good nature to hold him.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“[how can anyone] be silly enough to think himself better than other people, because his clothes are made of finer woolen thread than theirs. After all, those fine clothes were once worn by a sheep, and they never turned it into anything better than a sheep.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“You wouldn't abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn't control the winds.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.”
Thomas More
“Instead of inflicting these horrible punishments, it would be far more to the point to provide everyone with some means of livelihood, so that nobody's under the frightful necessity of becoming first a thief and then a corpse.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“What part soever you take upon you, play that as well as you can and make the best of it.”
Thomas More
“One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.”
Thomas More, Selected Writings
“Pride thinks it's own happiness shines the brighter by comparing it with the misfortunes of others.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“Kindness and good nature unite men more effectually and with greater strength than any agreements whatsoever, since thereby the engagements of men's hearts become stronger than the bond and obligation of words.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“One man to live in pleasure and wealth, whiles all other weap and smart for it, that is the part not of a king, but of a jailor.”
Thomas More
“It's wrong to deprive someone else of a pleasure so that you can enjoy one yourself, but to deprive yourself of a pleasure so that you can add to someone else's enjoyment is an act of humanity by which you always gain more than you lose.”
Thomas More
“Why do you suppose they made you king in the first place?' I ask him. 'Not for your benefit, but for theirs. They meant you to devote your energies to making their lives more comfortable, and protecting them from injustice. So your job is to see that they're all right, not that you are - just as a shepherd's job, strictly speaking, is to feed his sheep, not himself.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“If the lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him.”
Thomas More
“It is only natural, of course, that each man should think his own opinions best: the crow loves his fledgling, and the ape his cub.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“What is deferred is not avoided.”
Thomas More
“Nobody owns anything but everyone is rich - for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom from anxiety?”
Thomas More, Utopia
“We did not ask if he had seen any monsters, for monsters have ceased to be news. There is never any shortage of horrible creatures who prey on human beings, snatch away their food, or devour whole populations; but examples of wise social planning are not so easy to find.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“I die the king's faithful servant, but God's first.”
Thomas More
“Anyone who campaigns for public office becomes disqualified for holding any office at all.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“Nor can they understand why a totally useless substance like gold should now, all over the world, be considered far more important than human beings, who gave it such value as it has, purely for their own convenience.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“love rules without rules”
Thomas More
“God said, "Thou shalt not kill" - does the theft of a little money make it quite all right for us to do so? If it's said that this commandment applies only to illegal killing, what's to prevent human beings from similarly agreeing among themselves to legalize certain types of rape, adultery, or perjury? Considering that God has forbidden us even to kill ourselves, can we really believe that purely human arrangements for the regulation of mutual slaughter are enough, without any divine authority, to exempt executioners from the sixth commandment? Isn't that like saying that this particular commandment has no more validity than human laws allow it? - in which case the principle can be extended indefinitely, until in all spheres of life human beings decide just how far God's commandments may conveniently be observed.”
Thomas More
“Anticipated spears wound less.”
Thomas More
“The way to heaven out of all places is of length and distance.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”
Thomas More
“Until you put these things to right, you're not entitled to boast of the justice meted out to thieves, for it's a justice more specious than real or social desirable. You allow these people to be brought up in the worst possible way, and systematically corrupted from their earliest years. Finally, when they grow up and commit the crimes that they were obviously destined to commit, ever since they were children, you start punishing them. In other words, you create thieves, and then punish them for stealing.”
Thomas More
“In the first place, most princes apply themselves to the arts of war, in which I have neither ability nor interest, instead of to the good arts of peace. They are generally more set on acquiring new kingdoms by hook or by crook than on governing well those that they already have.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“If a king should fall under such contempt or envy that he could not keep his subjects in their duty but by oppression and ill usage, and by rendering them poor and miserable, it were certainly better for him to quit his kingdom than to retain it by such methods as make him, while he keeps the name of authority, lose the majesty due to it.”
Thomas More, Utopia
“Let them speak as lewdly as they list of me...as long as they do not hit me, what am I the worse?”
Thomas More

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