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Mrs. Byam (Character)
from Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
[Byam enters the courtroom and sees that the midshipman's dirk on the table points toward him; he knows that he has been condemned to death]
Lord Hood: Have you anything to say before the sentence of this court is passed upon you?
Byam: Milord, much as I desire to live, I'm not afraid to die. Since I first sailed on the Bounty over four years ago, I've know how men can be made to suffer worse things than death, cruelly, beyond duty, beyond necessity.
[turns to Captain Bligh]
Byam: Captain Bligh, you've told your story of mutiny on the Bounty, how men plotted against you, seized your ship, cast you adrift in an open boat, a great venture in science brought to nothing, two British ships lost. But there's another story, Captain Bligh, of ten cocoanuts and two cheeses. A story of a man who robbed his seamen, cursed them, flogged them, not to punish but to break their spirit. A story of greed and tyranny, and of anger against it, of what it cost.
[turns to Lord Hood]
Byam: One man, milord, would not endure such tyranny.
[turns again to Captain Bligh]
Byam: That's why you hounded him. That's why you hate him, hate his friends. And that's why you're beaten. Fletcher Christian's still free.
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