T.E. Lawrence Quotes in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


T.E. Lawrence Quotes:

  • [Lawrence has just extinguished a match between his thumb and forefinger. William Potter surreptitiously attempts the same]

    William Potter: Ooh! It damn well 'urts!

    T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.

    Officer: What's the trick then?

    T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.

  • 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.

  • Jackson Bentley: What is it, Major Lawrence, that attracts you personally to the desert?

    T.E. Lawrence: It's clean.

  • T.E. Lawrence: There may be honor among thieves, but there's none in politicians.

  • Sherif Ali: Have you no fear, English?

    T.E. Lawrence: My fear is my concern.

  • Prince Feisal: Gasim's time has come, Lawrence. It is written.

    T.E. Lawrence: Nothing is written.

    Sherif Ali: You will not be at Aqaba, English! Go back, blasphemer... but you will not be at Aqaba!

    T.E. Lawrence: I shall be at Aqaba. That, IS written.

    [pointing to forehead]

    T.E. Lawrence: In here.

  • 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: 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.

  • Club Secretary: I say, Lawrence. You are a clown!

    T.E. Lawrence: Ah, well, we can't all be lion tamers.

  • Auda abu Tayi: [as Lawrence sets out across the desert with Daoud and Faraj] You will cross Sinai?

    T.E. Lawrence: Moses did!

    Auda abu Tayi: And you will take the children?

    T.E. Lawrence: Moses did!

    Auda abu Tayi: Moses was a prophet and beloved of God!

  • Tafas: [talking of Britain] Is that a desert country?

    T.E. Lawrence: No: a fat country. Fat people.

    Tafas: You are not fat?

    T.E. Lawrence: No. I'm different.

  • General Murray: I can't make out whether you're bloody bad-mannered or just half-witted.

    T.E. Lawrence: I have the same problem, sir.

  • Sherif Ali: What is your name?

    T.E. Lawrence: My name is for my friends. None of my friends is a murderer!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: We do not work this thing for Feisal.

    Auda abu Tayi: No? For the English, then?

    T.E. Lawrence: For the Arabs.

    Auda abu Tayi: The Arabs? The Howitat, Ajili, Rala, Beni Saha; these I know, I have even heard of the Harif, but the Arabs? What tribe is that?

  • Jackson Bentley: Never saw a man killed with a sword before.

    T.E. Lawrence: [contemptuously] Why don't you take a picture?

    Jackson Bentley: Wish I had.

  • T.E. Lawrence: It's my manner, sir.

    General Murray: Your manner?

    T.E. Lawrence: Yes. It looks insubordinate, but it isn't really.

    General Murray: Shut up... and get out!

  • T.E. Lawrence: No prisoners! No prisoners!

  • T.E. Lawrence: The truth is: I'm an ordinary man. You might've told me that, Dryden.

  • Sherif Ali: What are you looking for?

    T.E. Lawrence: Some way to announce myself.

    Sherif Ali: Be patient with him, God.

  • 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 Allenby: I believe your name will be a household word when you'll have to go to the War Museum to find who Allenby was. You're the most extraordinary man I've ever met!

    T.E. Lawrence: Leave me alone!

    General Allenby: What?

    T.E. Lawrence: Leave me alone!

    General Allenby: Well, that's a feeble thing to say.

    T.E. Lawrence: I know I'm not ordinary.

    General Allenby: That's not what I'm saying...

    T.E. Lawrence: All right! I'm extraordinary! What of it?

  • Tafas: Here you may drink...

    [Lawrence nods and takes out his canteen to drink water]

    Tafas: One cup.

    [pointing the tincup]

    T.E. Lawrence: [Lawrence pours in some water] You do not drink?

    Tafas: No.

    [Tafas shakes his head like saying no]

    T.E. Lawrence: I'll drink when you do.

    Tafas: I am *Bedu*.

    [Lawrence pours back the water in the tincup to canteen]

  • Prince Feisal: The English have a great hunger for desolate places. I fear they hunger for Arabia.

    T.E. Lawrence: Then you must deny it to them.

    Prince Feisal: You are an Englishman. Are you not loyal to England?

    T.E. Lawrence: To England and to other things.

    Prince Feisal: To England and Arabia both? And is that possible? I think you are another of these desert-loving English.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • T.E. Lawrence: I pray that I may never see the desert again. Hear me, God.

  • Prince Feisal: Well, General, I will leave you. Major Lawrence doubtless has reports to make upon my people and their weakness, and the need to keep them weak in the British interest... and the French interest too, of course. We must not forget the French now...

    General Allenby: [indignantly] I've told you, sir, no such treaty exists.

    Prince Feisal: Yes, General, you have lied most bravely, but not convincingly. I know this treaty does exist.

    T.E. Lawrence: Treaty, sir?

    Prince Feisal: He does it better than you, General. But then, of course, he is almost an Arab.

  • T.E. Lawrence: The best of them won't come for money; they'll come for me.

  • T.E. Lawrence: The Law says the man must die... If he dies, would that content the Howitat?

    Auda abu Tayi: Yes.

    T.E. Lawrence: 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.

  • 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.

  • Bartender: [after Lawrence enters with a dirty Bedouin] This is a bar for British officers!

    T.E. Lawrence: That's all right. We're not particular.

  • 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 cross Arabia 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 have Arabia in chaos.

  • General Allenby: What about your Arab friends? What about them?

    T.E. Lawrence: I have no Arab friends. I don't want Arab friends !

    General Allenby: What in Hell do you want, Lawrence?

    T.E. Lawrence: I told you! I just want my ration of common humanity.

    Mr. Dryden: Lawrence!

    [Lawrence turns away from Allenby to face Dryden]

    Mr. Dryden: Nothing. Sorry I interrupted, Sir.

    General Allenby: [subdued] Quite all right. Thank you, Mr Dryden. Look, why don't we, er... There's blood on your back. Do you want a Doctor ?

  • [Lawrence and Ali watch as British cannons fire in the distance]

    Sherif Ali: God help the men that lie under that.

    T.E. Lawrence: They are Turks.

    Sherif Ali: God help them.

  • T.E. Lawrence: I'm to "assess the situation".

    Colonel Brighton: Hmph! Well that won't be too difficult. The situation's bloody awful.

  • T.E. Lawrence: Where are they now?

    Mr. Dryden: Anywhere within 300 miles of Medina. They're Hashemite Bedouins. They can cross 60 miles of desert in a day.

    T.E. Lawrence: Oh,thanks Dryden. This is going to be fun.

    Mr. Dryden: Lawrence, only two kinds of creature get fun in the desert: Beduins 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 recognised that you have a funny sense of fun.

  • T.E. Lawrence: Look, Ali. If any of your Beduin arrived in Cairo and said: "We've taken Aqaba" the generals would laugh.

    Sherif Ali: I see. In Cairo you will put off these funny clothes. You'll wear trousers and tell stories of our quaintness and barbarity and then they will believe you.

    T.E. Lawrence: You're an ignorant man.

  • General Allenby: I'm promoting you Major.

    T.E. Lawrence: I don't think that's a very good idea.

  • T.E. Lawrence: I cannot fiddle but I can make a great state of a small city.

  • 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.

  • [regarding the bullet wound on Lawrence's arm]

    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.

  • General Allenby: I fight like Clausewitz, then you fight like Saxe!

    T.E. Lawrence: We should do very well, then, shouldn't we?

  • Prince Feisal: You are an Englishman. Are you not loyal to England?

    T.E. Lawrence: To England, and to other things.

  • Majid: Aurens! Can you pass for an Arab in an Arab town?

    T.E. Lawrence: If one of you will lend me some dirty clothes.

  • [last lines]

    Driver: Well, sir, going home!

    T.E. Lawrence: Mm?

    [realizes that he has been addressed]

    Driver: Home, sir!

    [an army lorry passes. It carries Tommies singing a music hall ditty of the period: "Goodbye Dolly, I must leave you... "]

  • Sherif Ali: [Ali shots Tafas dead while riding his camel. He stops his camel and jumps down to see Tafas' body] He is dead.

    T.E. Lawrence: yes... why?

    Sherif Ali: this is my well.

    [mentioning the well Lawrence and Tafas just used for resting]

    T.E. Lawrence: I have drunk from it.

    Sherif Ali: You are welcome.

    T.E. Lawrence: He was my friend.

    Sherif Ali: That?

    [mentioning Tafas]

    T.E. Lawrence: Yes, that.

    Sherif Ali: [Ali walks towards peter and grabs tafas' gun lying on the sand] This pistol yours?

    T.E. Lawrence: No, his.

    Sherif Ali: [Ali places the pistol to his waist and walks towards the well] His?

    [mentioning the tincup near the well]

    T.E. Lawrence: Mine.

    Sherif Ali: hen i will use it.

    [pulls some water out of well]

    Sherif Ali: ... your friend... was a Hazimi of the Beni Salem.

    T.E. Lawrence: I know.

    Sherif Ali: [Ali salutes Lawrence and drinks his water] I am Ali ibn el Kharish.

    T.E. Lawrence: I have heard of you.

    Sherif Ali: So... What was a Hazimi doing here?

    T.E. Lawrence: He was taking me to help Prince Feisal.

    Sherif Ali: You've been sent from Cairo?

    T.E. Lawrence: Yes.

    Sherif Ali: I have been in Cairo for my schooling. I can both read and write... my Lord Feisal already has an Englishman.

    T.E. Lawrence: Yes.

    Sherif Ali: What is your name?

    T.E. Lawrence: My name is for my friend.

    [Ali walks away]

    T.E. Lawrence: None of my friends is a murderer.

    Sherif Ali: You are angry, English.

    [Ali climbs his camel]

    Sherif Ali: He was nothing. The well is everything... The Hazimi may not drink at our wells. He knew that... Salaam.

  • T.E. Lawrence: Sherif Ali!. 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.

    Sherif Ali: Come. I will take you to Feisal.

    T.E. Lawrence: I do not want your company, sherif.

    Sherif Ali: Wadi Safra is another day from here. You will not find it, and not finding it you will die.

    T.E. Lawrence: I will find it with this.

    [showing the compass]

    Sherif Ali: [Ali suddenly takes the compass with his stick] Good army compass. How if I take it?

    T.E. Lawrence: Then you would be a thief.

    Sherif Ali: Have you no fear, English?

    T.E. Lawrence: My fear is my concern.

    Sherif Ali: Truly.

    [Ali gives back the compass to Lawrence]

    Sherif Ali: God be with you English.

    [And he rides away]

  • Prince Feisal: To be great again, it seems that we need the english... or...

    T.E. Lawrence: Or?

    Prince Feisal: What no man can provide, Mr. Lawrence. We need a miracle.

  • Farraj: Lord, can we not rest?

    [riding on the camel along with Lawrence and Daud]

    T.E. Lawrence: I told you, no rest till they know that I have Aqaba... Have you two slept in beds? Farraj? Daud? With sheets?

    [they nod like saying no]

    T.E. Lawrence: Tomorrow the finest sheets in the finest room, in the finest hotel in Cairo. I promise.

    Daud: Then it shall be so, Lord.

  • T.E. Lawrence: Do you think I'm just anybody, Ali? Do you?

  • Colonel Brighton: I've been waiting for you.

    T.E. Lawrence: Did you know I was coming?

    Colonel Brighton: I knew someone was coming. I mean Feisal told me.

    T.E. Lawrence: How did he know?

    Colonel Brighton: Not much happens within 50 miles of Feisal that Feisal doesn't know. I'll give him that... no escort?

    T.E. Lawrence: My guide was killed at the Masturah well.

    Colonel Brighton: Turks?

    T.E. Lawrence: No, an Arab.

    Colonel Brighton: Bloody savages.

    [They both ride away]

  • T.E. Lawrence: Cross my heart and hope to die, it's all perfectly true.

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