18 January 2012

England Made Me, III

'It's our only chance,' Kate repeated. 'We haven't got a future away from here. This is the future.'
    'Oh come,' Anthony said, 'that's pitching it strong. After all, here we are foreigners.'
    'We're national. We're national,' Kate said, 'from the soles of our feet. But nationality's finished. Krogh doesn't think in frontiers. He's beaten unless he has the world.'
    'Minty was talking,' Anthony said, 'about short-term loans.'
    'That's temporary.'
    'You mean he's had to take them already?' Anthony asked. 'Is money so close? It looks bad. Do you think we are safe here? I'm all for rats. I don't believe in any Casabianca stuff.'
    'You don't imagine,' Kate said, 'that Krogh could be beaten by us. That's all that nationality is – it's we, the hangers-on, the little dusty offices I've worked in, Hammond, your pubs, your Edgware Road, your pick-ups in Hyde Park.' Deliberately she turned away from the thought that there had been a straightness about the poor national past which the international present did without. It hadn't been very grand, but in their class at any rate there had been gentleness and kindness once.
    'It's home,' Anthony said.
    He raised his lonely small boy's face. 'You don't understand, Kate. You've always liked this modern stuff, that fountain.'

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