Lawrence of Arabia Quotes
Prince Feisal: My friend Lawrence, if I may call him that. “My friend Lawrence”. How many men will claim the right to use that phrase? How proudly! He longs for the greenness of his native land. He pines for the Gothic cottages of Surrey, is it not? Already in imagination, he catches trout and engages in all the activities of the English gentleman.
General Allenby: That’s me you’re describing, sir, not Colonel Lawrence. »
- Prince Feisal: No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees. There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing. »
- Sherif Ali: What is your name?
T.E. Lawrence: My name is for my friends. None of my friends is a murderer! »
- T.E. Lawrence: A thousand Arabs means a thousand knives, delivered anywhere day or night. It means a thousand camels. That means a thousand packs of high explosives and a thousand crack rifles. We can crossArabia while Johnny Turk is still turning round, and smash his railways. And while he’s mending them, I’ll smash them somewhere else. In thirteen weeks, I can haveArabia in chaos. »
- Auda abu Tayi: It is Auda of the Howitat who speaks.
Sherif Ali: It is Ali of the Harith who answers.
Auda abu Tayi: Harith! Ali, does your father still steal?
Sherif Ali: No. Does Auda take me for one of his own bastards?
Auda abu Tayi: No, there is no resemblance. Alas, you resemble your father.
Sherif Ali: Auda flatters me.
Auda abu Tayi: You’re easily flattered. I knew your father well.
Sherif Ali: Did you know your own? »
Prince Feisal: Which is why my father made this war upon the Turks. My father, Mr Lawrence, not the English. But my father is old and I… I long for the vanished gardens ofCordoba. However, before the gardens must come the fighting. »
- Prince Feisal: With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable. »
- Prince Feisal: You, I suspect, are chief architect of this compromise. What do you think?
Mr. Dryden: Me, your Highness? On the whole, I wish I’d stayed in Tunbridge Wells. »
- Prince Feisal: Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage, and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution. »
Sherif Ali: Does it surprise you, Mr Bentley? Surely, you know the Arabs are a barbarous people. Barbarous and cruel. Who but they! Who but they! »
- Sherif Ali: Have you no fear, English?
T.E. Lawrence: My fear is my concern. »
- Sherif Ali: I do not understand this. Your father’s name is Chapman…
T.E. Lawrence: Ali, he didn’t marry my mother.
Sherif Ali: I see.
T.E. Lawrence: I’m sorry.
Sherif Ali: It seems to me that you are free to choose your own name, then. »
- Sherif Ali: It is their payment, Colonel.
Colonel Brighton: Payment?
Sherif Ali: Truly, are not British soldiers paid?
Colonel Brighton: They don’t go home when they’ve been paid!
Sherif Ali: They are not free to! »
- Sherif Ali: There is the railway. And that is the desert. From here until we reach the other side, no water but what we carry with us. For the camels, no water at all. If the camels die, we die. And in twenty days they will start to die.
T.E. Lawrence: There’s no time to waste, then, is there? »
- Sherif Ali: Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it. »
- Sherif Ali: What are you looking for?
T.E. Lawrence: Some way to announce myself.
Sherif Ali: Be patient with him, God. »
- Club Secretary: I say, Lawrence. You are a clown!
T.E. Lawrence: We can’t all be lion tamers. »
- Colonel Brighton: Are you badly hurt?
T.E. Lawrence: I’m not hurt at all. Didn’t you know? They can only kill me with a golden bullet. »
- Colonel Brighton: Damn itLawrence! Who do you take your orders from? »
- Colonel Brighton: Look, sir, we can’t just do nothing.
General Allenby: Why not? It’s usually best. »
- General Allenby: I thought I was a hard man, sir.
Prince Feisal: You are merely a general. I must be a king. »
- General Allenby: I’m promoting you Major.
T.E. Lawrence: I don’t think that’s a very good idea. »
- General Allenby: I’ve got orders to obey, thank God. Not like that poor devil. He’s riding the whirlwind.
Mr. Dryden: Let’s hope we’re not. »
- General Allenby: You acted without orders, you know.
T.E. Lawrence: Shouldn’t officers use their initiative at all times?
General Allenby: Not really. It’s awfully dangerous. »
- General Murray: I can’t make out whether you’re a bloody madman or just half-witted.
T.E. Lawrence: I have the same problem, sir. »
- Jackson Bentley: What attracts you personally to the desert?
T.E. Lawrence: It’s clean. »
- Jackson Bentley: Yes, it was my privilege to know him and to make him known to the world. He was a poet, a scholarand a mighty warrior.
Jackson Bentley: He was also the most shameless exhibitionist since Barnum & Bailey. »
- Jackson Bentley: You answered without saying anything. That’s politics. »
- Mr. Dryden: A man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it. »
- Mr. Dryden: Lawrence, only two kinds of creature get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you’re neither. Take it from me, for ordinary men, it’s a burning, fiery furnace.
T.E. Lawrence: No, Dryden, it’s going to be fun.
Mr. Dryden: It is recognized that you have a funny sense of fun. »
- Mr. Dryden: Well. It seems we’re to have a British waterworks with an Arab flag on it. Do you think it was worth it?
General Allenby: Not my business. Thank God I’m a soldier.
Mr. Dryden: Yes, sir. So you keep saying. »
- Prince Feisal: And I must do it because the Turks have European guns. But I fear to do it. Upon my soul I do. The English have a great hunger for desolate places. I fear they hunger forArabia. »
- Prince Feisal: But you know, Lieutenant, in the Arab city of Cordoba were two miles of public lighting in the streets when London was a village?
T.E. Lawrence: Yes, you were great.
Prince Feisal: Nine centuries ago.
T.E. Lawrence: Time to be great again, my lord. »
- T.E. Lawrence: Do you think I’m just anyone? Do you? »
- T.E. Lawrence: I cannot fiddle but I can make a great state of a small city. »
- T.E. Lawrence: I killed two people. One was… yesterday? He was just a boy and I led him into quicksand. The other was… well, before Aqaba. I had to execute him with my pistol, and there was something about it that I didn’t like.
General Allenby: That’s to be expected.
T.E. Lawrence: No, something else.
General Allenby: Well, then let it be a lesson.
T.E. Lawrence: No… something else.
General Allenby: What then?
T.E. Lawrence: I enjoyed it. »
- T.E. Lawrence: I pray that I may never see the desert again. Hear me, God. »
- T.E. Lawrence: It’s my manner, sir.
General Murray: Your manner?
T.E. Lawrence: Yes. It looks insubordinate, but it isn’t really. »
- T.E. Lawrence: Michael George Hartley, this is a nasty, dark little room.
Hartley: That’s right.
T.E. Lawrence: We are not happy in it.
Hartley: It’s better than a nasty, dark little trench.
T.E. Lawrence: Then you’re an ignoble fellow.
Hartley: That’s right. »
- T.E. Lawrence: My friends, we have been foolish. Auda will not come to Aqaba. Not for money…
Auda abu Tayi: No.
T.E. Lawrence: …for Feisal…
Auda abu Tayi: No!
T.E. Lawrence: …nor to drive away the Turks. He will come… because it is his pleasure.
Auda abu Tayi: Thy mother mated with a scorpion. »
- T.E. Lawrence: My lord, I think… I think your book is right. ‘The desert is an ocean in which no oar is dipped’ and on this ocean the Bedu go where they please and strike where they please. This is the way the Bedu have always fought. You’re famed throughout the world for fighting in this way and this is the way you should fight now! »
- T.E. Lawrence: No prisoners! No prisoners! »
- T.E. Lawrence: No, they’re still there, but they’ve no boots. Prisoners, sir. We took them prisoners; the entire garrison. No, that’s not true. We killed some; too many really. I’ll manage it better next time. There’s been a lot of killing, one way or another. Cross my heart and hope to die, it’s all perfectly true. »
- T.E. Lawrence: Nothing is written. »
- T.E. Lawrence: So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people – greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are. »
- T.E. Lawrence: That’s all right. We’re not particular. »
- T.E. Lawrence: The best of them won’t come for money; they’ll come for me. »
Turkish Bey: I have been stationed in Dara for three and a half years. If I were posted to the dark side of the moon I could not be more isolated. You don’t have the slightest idea what I’m talking about, do you?
T.E. Lawrence: No, effendi.
Turkish Bey: Do you? No. That would be too… lucky. »
- Turkish Bey: Where did you get this wound?
T.E. Lawrence: That is old, effendi.
Turkish Bey: No, it is recent. You are a deserter. But from which army? Not that it matters at all. A man can’t always be in uniform. »
- William Potter: Ooh! It damn well ‘urts!
T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.
T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts. »
- T.E. Lawrence: The Law says the man must die… If he dies, would that content the Howitat?
Auda abu Tayi: Yes.
Sherif Ali: Sherif Ali. If none of lord Auda’s men harms any of yours, will that content the Harith?
Sherif Ali: Yes.
T.E. Lawrence: Then I will execute the Law. I have no tribe and no one is offended. »
- T.E. Lawrence: The truth is: I’m an ordinary man. You might’ve told me that, Dryden. »
- T.E. Lawrence: There may be honor among thieves, but there’s none in politicians. »