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Arnold Bennett: War casualties and war profiteers

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

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Arnold Bennett
From Mr. Prohack

Silas Angmering had evidently been what is called a profiteer. He had made his money “out of the war.” And Silas was an Englishman. While Englishmen, and – later – Americans, had given up lives, sanity, fortunes, limbs, eyesight, health, Silas had gained riches…Prohack had himself seen, in the very club in which he was now entertaining Softly Bishop, a man who had left an arm in France chatting and laughing with a man who had picked up over a million pounds by following the great principle that a commodity is worth what it will fetch when people want it very badly and there is a shortage of it…

Few facts gave Mr. Prohack a more serene and proud satisfaction than the fact that he had materially lost through the war. He was positively glad that he had lost, and that the Government, his employer, had treated him badly…And now to become the heir of a profiteer!

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