More: When a man takes an oath, Meg, he's holding his own self in his own hands. Like water. And if he opens his fingers then -- he needn't hope to find himself again. Some men aren't capable of this, but I'd be loathe to think your father one of them.I've often wondered whether that phrase, "Some men aren't capable of this, but I'd be loathe to think your father one of them," is a typo. But I imagine that Bolt refers to the larger notion of being capable of keeping an oath. Regardless, the sentiment bares careful consideration in any season.
Margaret: In a State that was half good, you would be raised up high, not here, for what you've done already. It's not your fault the State's three-quarters bad. Then if you elect to suffer for it, you elect yourself a hero.
More: That's very neat. But look now … 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.
Margaret: But in reason! Haven't you done as much as God can reasonably want?
More: Well . . . finally . . . it isn't a matter of reason; finally it's a matter of love. (ellipses and emphasis in original; pp. 140-141)
Bolt, R. (1990). A Man For All Seasons. New York: Vintage International.