Robert Bolt Quotes (displaying: 1 - 17 of 17 quotes)
This account of him [Thomas More] developed as I wrote: what first attracted me was a person who could not be accused of any incapacity for life, who indeed seized life in great variety and almost greedy quantities, who nevertheless found something in himself without which life was valueless and when that was denied him was able to grasp his death.
Thomas More: ...And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down...d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
Thomas More: Will, I'd trust you with my life. But not your principles. You see, we speak of being anchored to our principles. But if the weather turns nasty you up with an anchor and let it down where there's less wind, and the fishing's better. And "Look," we say, "look, I'm anchored! To my principles!
WILLIAM ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! THOMAS MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you -where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast -man's laws, not God's -and if you cut them down- and you're just the man to do it -d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil the benefit of the law, for my own safety's sake.
If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we'd live like animals or angels in the happy land that /needs/ no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all... why then perhaps we /must/ stand fast a little --even at the risk of being heroes.