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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

prejudicial to recruiting. The censorship officials were
always watching for a plausible excuse for banning it,
and they had already prohibited its foreign circula-
tion. "The soldiers are not allowed to express their
point of view. In war-time the word patriotism means
suppression of truth/9 he remarked, eyeing a small
chunk of Stilton cheese on his plate as if it were in-
capable of agreeing with any but ultra-Conservative
opinions. "Quite a number of middle-aged members
of this club have been to the front/3 he continued.
"After a dinner at G.H.Q. and a motor drive in the
direction of the trenches, they can talk and write in
support of the War with complete confidence in them-
selves. Five years ago they were probably saying that
modern civilization had made a European War un-
thinkable. But their principles are purchasable. Once
they've been invited to visit G.H.Q,. they never look
back. Their own self-importance is all that matters to
them. And any lie is a good lie as long as it stimulates
unreasoning hatred of the enemy."

He listened with gloomy satisfaction to my rather
vague remarks about incompetent Staff work. I told
him that our Second Battalion had been almost wiped
out ten days ago because the Divisional General had
ordered an impossible attack on a local objective. The
phrase "local objective" sounded good, and made me
feel that I knew a hell of a lot about it. ...

On our way to the smoking-room we passed a
blandly Victorian bust of Richard Cobden, which
caused Markington to regret that the man himself
wasn't above ground to give the present Government
a bit of his mind. Ignorant about Gobden's career, I
gazed fixedly at his marble whiskers, nodded gravely,
and inwardly resolved to look up a few facts about
him. "If Cobden were alive now", said Markington,

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