The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once and Future King
T. H. White
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This magical account of King Arthur's last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list following its publication in 1977.
Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that "will turn my completed epic into a perfect fruit, 'rounded off and bright and done.'"
This is the conclusion of The Once And Future King.
kept solely in order to be slaughtered on the verge of maturity and devoured by their carnivorous herder, whose teeth are not even designed for those of a carnivore. You should read Lamb’s letter to Southey, about baking moles alive, and sport with cockchafers, and cats in bladders, and crimping skates, and anglers, those ‘meek inflictors of pangs intolerable.’ Homo ferox, the Inventor of Cruelty to Animals, who will rear pheasants at enormous expense for the pleasure of killing them: who will go
was impossible to ask them whether they believed in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but also that it was dangerous to ask them questions at all. A question was a sign of insanity to them, because their life was not questionable: it was dictated. He crawled from nest to syrup and back again, exclaimed that the Mammy song was loverly, opened his jaws to regurgitate, and tried to understand as well as he could. He had reached the screaming stage when the enormous hand came down from the
angry. His hands were trembling with rage. “The brutes!” he exclaimed. “The brutes!” “They are not attractive.” “I would not have minded,” he burst out, “if they had been wicked—if they had wanted to be wicked. I would not have minded if they had chosen to be wicked for some reason, or for fun. But they did not know, they had not chosen. They—they—they did not exist!” “Sit down,” said the badger, “and have some rest.” “The horrible creatures! It was like talking to minerals which could move,
on his experience among the ants, and that was why they puzzled her. He wanted to know about nationalism, about state-control, individual liberty, property and so forth: the things whose importance had been mentioned in the Combination Room, or which he had noticed in the ant-hill. As most of these things had to be explained to her, before she could explain herself, there were interesting things to talk about. They conversed amiably, and, as his education prospered, the surprised old man began
relevant meaning?” added the king. “None whatever.” “One further question before we rise. You have said that politics are out of order, but they seem so closely tied to the question of warfare that they must be faced to some extent. At an earlier stage you claimed to be a capitalist. Are you sure of these views?” “If I said so, Your Majesty, I did not mean it. Badger was talking at me like a communist of the nineteen-twenties, which made me talk like a capitalist in self-defence. I am an