Thomas More Quotations

Sir Thomas More quotes and aphorisms
Sir Thomas More quotes and aphorisms

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

A pretty face may be enough to catch a man, but it takes character and good nature to hold him.
Thomas More

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

What part soever you take upon you, play that as well as you can and make the best of it.
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

You wouldn’t abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn’t control the winds.
Thomas More

[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

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

Love rules without rules.
Thomas More

The devil…the prowde spirite…cannot endure to be mocked.
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

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

Pride thinks it’s own happiness shines the brighter by comparing it with the misfortunes of others.
Thomas More

Blame, Oh See me safe up: for in my coming down, I can shift for myself.
Thomas More

If the lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him.
Thomas More

What is deferred is not avoided.
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

Anticipated spears wound less.
Thomas More

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

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

I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.
Thomas More

The most part of all princes have more delight in warlike manners and feats of chivalry than in the good feats of peace.
Thomas More

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

Men be so foolish as to have delight and pleasure in the doubtful glistering of a trifling little stone, which may behold any of the stars or else the sun itself.
Thomas More

Fortune doth both raise up the low and pluck down the high.
Thomas More

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

The way to heaven out of all places is of length and distance.
Thomas More

The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
Thomas More

Pride thinks its own happiness shines the brighter, by comparing it with the misfortunes of other persons; that by displaying its own wealth they may feel their poverty the more sensibly.
Thomas More

It is naturally given to all men to esteem their own inventions best.
Thomas More

Why shouldst thou not take even as much pleasure in beholding a counterfeit stone, which thine eye cannot discern from a right stone?
Thomas More

No man shall be blamed in the maintenance of his own religion.
Thomas More

It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for Wales?
Thomas More

The devil…the prowde spirite…cannot endure to be mocked.
Thomas More

Oh! blame not the bard.
Thomas More

[On ascending the platform to his execution] I pray you, I pray you, Mr Lieutenant, see me safe up and for my coming down, I can shift for myself.
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

By reason of gifts and bribes the offices be given to rich men, which should rather have been executed by wise men.
Thomas More

A good tale evil told were better untold, and an evil take well told need none other solicitor.
Thomas More

My only books were woman’s looks, and folly’s all they’ve taught me.
Thomas More

The servant may not look to be in better case than his master.
Thomas More

It layeth not in my power but that they devour me. But…they shall not deflower me.
Thomas More

We asked him many questions concerning all these things, to which he answered very willingly; we made no inquiries after monsters, than which nothing is more common; for everywhere one may hear of ravenous dogs and wolves, and cruel men-eaters, but it is not so easy to find states that are well and wisely governed.
Thomas More

God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind.
Thomas More

They wonder much to hear that gold, which in itself is so useless a thing, should be everywhere so much esteemed, that even men for whom it was made, and by whom it has its value, should yet be thought of less value than it is.
Thomas More

To be educated, a person doesn’t have to know much or be informed, but he or she does have to have been exposed vulnerably to the transformative events of an engaged human life.
Thomas More

Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
Thomas More

One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.
Thomas More

Ask a woman’s advice, and whatever she advises, Do the very reverse and you’re sure to be wise.
Thomas More

I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.
Thomas More

A friendship like love is warm; a love like friendship is steady.
Thomas More

If honor were profitable, everybody would be honorable.
Thomas More

Whoever loveth me, loveth my hound.
Thomas More

An absolutely new idea is one of the rarest things known to man.
Thomas More

Disguise our bondage as we will, ‘Tis woman, woman, rules us still.
Thomas More

Fond memory brings the light of other days around me.
Thomas More

He travels best that knows when to return.
Thomas More

Our emotional symptoms are precious sources of life and individuality.
Thomas More

‘Tis the last rose of summer Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone.
Thomas More

What though youth gave love and roses, Age still leaves us friends and wine.
Thomas More

A little wanton money, which burned out the bottom of his purse.
Thomas More

And it will fall out as in a complication of diseases, that by applying a remedy to one sore, you will provoke another; and that which removes the one ill symptom produces others.
Thomas More

And, indeed, though they differ concerning other things, yet all agree in this: that they think there is one Supreme Being that made and governs the world, whom they call, in the language of their country, Mithras.
Thomas More

By confronting us with irreducible mysteries that stretch our daily vision to include infinity, nature opens an inviting and guiding path toward a spiritual life.
Thomas More

I would uphold the law if for no other reason but to protect myself.
Thomas More

The channel is known only to the natives; so that if any stranger should enter into the bay without one of their pilots he would run great danger of shipwreck.
Thomas More

The heart that has truly loved never forgets, But as truly loves on to the close.
Thomas More

The light, that lies In woman’s eyes, Has been my heart’s undoing.
Thomas More

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
Thomas More

There are several sorts of religions, not only in different parts of the island, but even in every town; some worshipping the sun, others the moon or one of the planets.
Thomas More

This wretched brain gave way, and I became a wreck at random driven, without one glimpse of reason or heaven.
Thomas More

Those among them that have not received our religion do not fright any from it, and use none ill that goes over to it, so that all the while I was there one man was only punished on this occasion.
Thomas More

For when they see the people swarm into the streets, and daily wet to the skin with rain, and yet cannot persuade them to go out of the rain, they do keep themselves within their houses, seeing they cannot remedy the folly of the people.
Thomas More

The leaving him thus did not a little gratify one that was more fond of travelling than of returning home to be buried in his own country; for he used often to say, that the way to heaven was the same from all places, and he that had no grave had the heavens still over him.
Thomas More

To gold and silver nature hath given no use that we may not well lack.
Thomas More

All the life must be led with one, and also all the griefs and displeasures coming therewith patiently be taken and borne.
Thomas More

This hellhound (pride) creepeth into men’s hearts and plucketh them back from entering the right path of life and is so deeply rooted in men’s breasts that she cannot be plucked out.
Thomas More

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