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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Immortal Lines From 'THE FIELD'


"Bull" McCabe: Why're you interfering, Father? This is none of the Church's business.
Father Doran: It's the Widow's field. She has the right to sell it.
"Bull" McCabe: No. It's my field. It's my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it! My only want is that green grass, that lovely green grass, and you want to take it away from me, and in the sight of God I can't let you do that!
Father Doran: Can't you find another field?
"Bull" McCabe: Another field? Another field? Jesus, you're as foreign here as anyone. Another field? Are you blind? Those hands, do you see those hands? Those rocks! It was a dead thing! Don't you understand?
Father Doran: This is the Widow's field. That's the law. The common law.
"Bull" McCabe: There's another law, stronger than the common law.
Father Doran: What's that?
"Bull" McCabe: The law of the land. When I was a boy, younger than Tadgh there, my brothers and sisters had to leave the land, because it couldn't support them. We wasn't rich enough to be priests or doctors, so it was the emigrant ship for all of them. I were the eldest, the heir. I were the only one left at home. Neighbours were scarce. So my father and I, we had our breakfast, dinner, and tea, working in that field without a break in our work. And my mother brought us the meals.

One day, one day my father sensed a drop of rain in the air and my mother helped us bring in the hay before it was too late. She was working one corner of the field, and I was working in the other. About the third day, I saw her fall back, keel over so to speak. I called my father, I run to her. My father kneeled beside her. He knew she... he knew she was dying. He said an act of contrition into her ear and he asked God to forgive her sins. And he looked at me, and he said, "Fetch a priest." Fetch a priest... And I said, "Let's - let's bring the hay in first. Let's bring the hay in first." My father looked at me with tears of pride in his eyes. He knew I'd take care of the land. And if you think I'm gonna face my mother in Heaven or in Hell without that field, you've got something else coming. No collar, uniform, or weapon will protect the man that stands in my way.