Master At Arms Claggert Quotes in Billy Budd (1962)


Master At Arms Claggert Quotes:

  • Master At Arms Claggert: The sea is calm you said. Peaceful. Calm above, but below a world of gliding monsters preying on their fellows. Murderers, all of them. Only the strongest teeth survive. And who's to tell me it's any different here on board, or yonder on dry land?"

  • Captain Vere: Master-at-Arms, you possess too much knowledge for such a lowly post.

    Master At Arms Claggert: Why, thank you, Sir.

    Captain Vere: [impatiently] It's no flattery, Mr. Claggert. It's a melancholy fact!

  • Master At Arms Claggert: Tell me in all ignorance do you dare understand me, then?

    Billy Budd: I think so, sir.

    Master At Arms Claggert: Why did Jenkins die?

    Billy Budd: You did not wish his death.

    Master At Arms Claggert: No, I did not.

    Billy Budd: You didn't even hate him. I think that sometimes you hate yourself. I was thinking, sir, the nights are lonely. Perhaps I could talk with you between watches when you've nothing else to do.

    Master At Arms Claggert: Lonely. What do you know of loneliness?

    Billy Budd: Them's alone that want to be.

    Master At Arms Claggert: Nights are long. Conversation helps pass the time.

    Billy Budd: Can I talk to you again, then? It would mean a lot to me.

    Master At Arms Claggert: Perhaps to me, too.

    [His expression suddenly sours.]

    Master At Arms Claggert: Oh, no. You would charm me too, huh? Get away.

    Billy Budd: Sir?

    Master At Arms Claggert: Get away!

  • Master At Arms Claggert: I am what I am and what the world has made me.

  • Master At Arms Claggert: We must serve the law, sir, or give up the right and privilege of service. It is only within that law that we may use our discretions according to our rank.

    Captain Vere: You're so intelligent and so lucid for the rank you hold, Master At Arms.

    Master At Arms Claggert: I thank you, sir.

    Captain Vere: Yes, that's no flattery, Mr. Claggart. It's a melancholy fact. It's sad to see such qualities of mind bent to such a sorry purpose. What's the reason for it?

    Master At Arms Claggert: I am what I am, sir. And what the world has made me.

    Captain Vere: The world? The world demands that behind every peacemaker there be the gun, the gallows, the jail. Do you think it will always be so?

    Master At Arms Claggert: I have no reason not to, sir.

    Captain Vere: You live without hope?

    Master At Arms Claggert: I live.

    Captain Vere: But remember, Mr. Claggart, that even the man who wields the whip cannot defy the code we must obey and not be broken by it. That will be all.

    Master At Arms Claggert: Aye, sir. With your permission, sir, is it still to be ten lashes?

    Captain Vere: It is.

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