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T.E. Lawrence quotes Showing 1-30 of 58

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands/and wrote my will across the sky in stars”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“I loved you, so I drew these tides of
Men into my hands
And wrote my will across the
Sky and stars
To earn you freedom, the seven
Pillared worthy house,
That your eyes might be
Shining for me
When we came

Death seemed my servant on the
Road, 'til we were near
And saw you waiting:
When you smiled and in sorrowful
Envy he outran me
And took you apart:
Into his quietness

Love, the way-weary, groped to your body,
Our brief wage
Ours for the moment
Before Earth's soft hand explored your shape
And the blind
Worms grew fat upon
Your substance

Men prayed me that I set our work,
The inviolate house,
As a memory of you
But for fit monument I shattered it,
Unfinished: and now
The little things creep out to patch
Themselves hovels
In the marred shadow
Of your gift.”
T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
“He was old and wise, which meant tired and disappointed...”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
“We were fond together because of the sweep of open places, the taste of wide winds, the sunlight, and the hopes in which we worked. The morning freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us. We were wrought up with ideas inexpressible and vaporous, but to be fought for. We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep, and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That’s the feeling.
(T.E. Lawrence to artist Eric Kennington, May 1935 )”
T. E. Lawrence
“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.”
T.E. Lawrence
“Mankind has had ten-thousand years of experience at fighting and if we must fight, we have no excuse for not fighting well.”
T.E. Lawrence
“Many men would take the death-sentence without a whimper, to escape the life-sentence which fate carries in her other hand.”
T.E. Lawrence
“I wrote my will across the sky, in stars”
T. E. Lawrence
“We lived always in the stretch or sag of nerves, either on the crest or in the trough of waves of feeling.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“By day the hot sun fermented us; and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.”
T.E Lawrence
“The fringes of their deserts were strewn with broken faiths.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“Immorality, I know. Immortality, I cannot judge.”
T.E. Lawrence
“I had dropped one form and not taken on the other, and was become like Mohammed's coffin in our legend, with a resultant feeling of intense loneliness in life, and a contempt, not for other men, but for all they do.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“He feared his maturity as it grew upon him with its ripe thought, its skill, its finished art; yet which lacked the poetry of boyhood to make living a full end of life. ”
T. E. Lawrence
“We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“If I could talk it like Dahoum, you would never be tired of listening to me.”
T. E. Lawrence, Correspondence with Bernard & Charlotte Shaw 1927
“Author says he suffered from both "a craving to be famous" and "a horror of being known to like being known.”
T.E. Lawrence
“In peace-armies discipline meant the hunt, not of an average but of an absolute; the hundred per cent standard in which the ninety-nine were played down to the level of the weakest man on parade…. The deeper the discipline, the lower was the individual excellence; also the more sure the performance. – T. E. Lawrence Seven Pillars of Wisdom”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armory of the modern commander.”
T.E. Lawrence
“Half-way through the labour of an index to this book I recalled the practice of my ten years' study of history; and realized that I had never used the index of a book fit to read.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“My will had gone and I feared to be alone, lest the winds of circumstance, or power, or lust, blow my empty soul away.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
“Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them. Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is.”
T. E. Lawrence
“Learn all you can.... Get to know their families, clans and tribes, friends and enemies, wells, hills and roads. Do all this by listening and by indirect inquiry. ... Get to speak their dialect ... not yours. Until you can understand their allusions, avoid getting deep into conversation or you will drop bricks. ~ T.E. Lawrence, from "The Arab Bulletin," 20 August 1917”
T.E. Lawrence
“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.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
“In my case, the effort for these years to live in the dress of Arabs, and to imitate their mental foundation, quitted me of my English self, and let me look at the West and its conventions with new eyes: they destroyed it all for me. At the same time I could not sincerely take on the Arab skin: it was an affectation only. Easily was a man made an infidel, but hardly might he be converted to another faith. I had dropped one form and not taken on the other, and has become like Mohammed's coffin in our legend, with a resultant feeling of intense loneliness in life, and a contempt, not for other men, but for all they do. Such detachment came at times to a man exhausted by prolonged physical effort and isolation. His body plodded on mechanically, while his reasonable mind left him, and from without looked down critically on him, wondering what that futile lumber did and why. Sometimes these selves would converse in the void; and then madness was very near, as I believe it would be near the man who could see things through the veils at once of two customs, two educations, two environments.”
T. E. Lawrence
“Since the adventure some of those who worked with me have buried themselves in the shallow grave of public duty.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom [Illustrated]: Lawrence of Arabia’s Firsthand Account of the Arab Revolt and Guerrilla Warfare in World War One
“I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To gain you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,
that your eyes might be shining for me
When I came.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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