To this Orwell made the classic reply that in such momentous situations, where the rights and the very existence of a whole people are at stake, there could be no thought of avoiding self-sacrifice. He spoke his convictions so earnestly and humbly that Miller desisted from further argument and promptly gave him his blessings.
‘There’s just one thing,’ said Miller, raising his glass in a final gesture of assent. ‘I can’t let you go to war in this beautiful Savile Row suit of yours. Here, let me present you with this corduroy jacket, it’s just what you need. It isn’t bulletproof but at least it’ll keep you warm. Take it, if you like, as my contribution to the Spanish republican cause.’