"The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
Lines from the first act of Eliot’s verse drama Murder in the Cathedral. They are spoken by Archbishop Thomas Becket after a “tempter” (a figure reminiscent of the biblical Temptations of Christ) has urged him:
You hold the keys of heaven and hell.
Power to bind and loose: bind, Thomas, bind,
King and bishop under your heel.
King, emperor, bishop, baron, king…
Now is my way clear, now is the meaning plain:
Temptation shall not come in this kind again.
The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.
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