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Becket

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Becket

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Genre: Drama
Setting: England
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely

EXCERPT:

BECKET.

Is it too late?

Too late on earth may be too soon in hell.

KNIGHTS (in the distance).

Close the great gate–ho, there–upon the town.

BECKET’S RETAINERS.

Shut the hall-doors. [A pause.

BECKET.

You hear them, brother John;

Why do you stand so silent, brother John?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.

For I was musing on an ancient saw,

Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re,

Is strength less strong when hand-in-hand with grace?

Gratior in pulchro corpore virtus. Thomas,

Why should you heat yourself for such as these?

BECKET.

Methought I answer’d moderately enough.

JOHN OF SALISBURY.

As one that blows the coal to cool the fire.

My lord, I marvel why you never lean

On any man’s advising but your own.

BECKET.

Is it so, Dan John? well, what should I have done?

JOHN OF SALISBURY.

You should have taken counsel with your friends

Before these bandits brake into your presence.

They seek–you make–occasion for your death.

BECKET.

My counsel is already taken, John.

I am prepared to die.


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