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The Mob
written by "Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933"
... STEEL. Give it up, sir. The odds are too great. It isn't worth it. MORE. To fight to a finish; knowing you must be beaten—is anything better worth it? STEEL. Well, then, I'm not going. MORE. This is my private hell, Steel; you don't roast in it any longer. Believe me, it's a great comfort to hurt no one but yourself. STEEL. I can't leave you, sir. MORE. My dear boy, you're a brick—but we've got off by a miracle so far, and I can't have the responsibility of you any longer. Hand me over that correspondence about to-morrow's meeting. STEEL takes some papers from his pocket, but does not hand them. MORE. Come! [He stretches out his hand for the papers. As STEEL still draws back, he says more sharply] Give them to me, Steel! [STEEL hands them over] Now, that ends it, d'you see? MENDIP. [Taking MORE'S hand] Give me credit for a little philosophy, my friend. Mrs. More told me you'd be back to-day. Have you heard? MORE. What? MENDIP. There's been a victory. MORE. Thank God! MENDIP. Ah! So you actually are flesh and blood. MORE. Yes! MENDIP. Take off the martyr's shirt, Stephen. You're only flouting human nature. MORE. So—even you defend the mob! MENDIP. My dear fellow, you're up against the strongest common instinct in the world. What do you expect? That the man in the street should be a Quixote? That his love of country should express itself in philosophic altruism? What on earth do you expect? Men are very simple creatures; and Mob is just conglomerate essence of simple men. MORE. Conglomerate excrescence. Mud of street and market-place gathered in a torrent—This blind howling "patriotism"—what each man feels in here? [He touches his breast] No! MENDIP. You think men go beyond instinct—they don't. All they know is that something's hurting that image of themselves that they call country....

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