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    Unconscious expiation


    Can anybody tell me what the author means by the bold text?

    How can the martyrs at the stake have stood it? Would any of them have recanted after all, once they were properly alight and frizzling and if they had been given the chance to get away? I expect so. Every man has his price, they say, and every man has his limit of endurance. But Winsham’s sufferings weren’t undergone deliberately of course. They were utterly fortuitous and senseless. Not even an unconscious expiation as you might say. He was an ordinary decent sort of chap, as good as most. Yet he did go through that ghastly tribulation. There’s no getting over that. He did . . .

    The Firing-chamber, John Metcalf, 193?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Johnyxxx; 21-Jan-2017 at 15:54.
    Not a Teacher

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