Tuesday, 16 April 2013

General Flashman and the Great War, Part 1

     Mr Franklin replied non-committally, and asked the General what he thought of the war situation. The old man shrugged.
     ‘Contemptible — but of course it always is. We should stay out, and to hell with Belgium. After all, it’s stretching things to say we’re committed to ’em, and we’d be doing ’em a favour — and the frogs too.’
     ‘By not protecting them, you mean? I don’t quite see that.’
     ‘You wouldn’t — because like most idiots you think of war being between states - coloured blobs on the map. You think if we can keep Belgium green, or whatever colour it is, instead of Prussian blue, then hurrah for everyone. But war ain’t between coloured blobs — it’s between people. You know what people are, I suppose? — chaps in trousers, and women in skirts, and kids in small clothes.’*

*See also General Flashman and the Great War, Part 2 [Speedicut]

Mr American, p.518, Pan Books, paperback edition 1982.

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