Discussion in 'General' started by Marina, Jun 7, 2006.
What a GREAT thread! Love it Love it
EDIT: wangll has copy & pasted another member's post & added spam links.
The local paper was running a section on "put downs with panache" and they had the following:
4. "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
5. "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.
In Churchills speech to the british people after the victory of Alamein…
"This is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning"
"Mr. Attlee is an honourable and gallant gentleman, and a faithful colleague who served his country well at the time of her greatest need."
"...we would rather see London laid in ruins and ashes than that it should be tamely and abjectly enslaved."
"The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's fellow-men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth, serene and triumphant, from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair."
"... the 'Spee' still sticks up in the harbour of Montevideo as a grisly monument, and measure of the fate in store for any Nazi warship which dabbles in piracy on the broad waters."
" Here in this strong City of Refuge which enshrines the title-deeds of human progress and is of deep consequence to Christian civilization; here, girt about by the seas and oceans where the Navy reigns; shielded from above by the prowess and devotion of our airmen - we await undismayed the impending assault. Perhaps it will come tonight. Perhaps it will come next week. Perhaps it will never come. We must show ourselves equally capable of meeting a sudden violent shock or - what is perhaps a harder test - a prolonged vigil. But be the ordeal sharp or long, or both, we shall seek no terms, we shall tolerate no parley; we may show mercy - we shall ask for none."
"We may now picture this great Fleet, with its flotillas and cruisers, steaming slowly out of Portland Harbour, squadron by squadron, scores of gigantic castles of steel wending their way across the misty, shining sea, like giants bowed in anxious thought. We may picture them again as darkness fell, eighteen miles of warships running at high speed and in absolute blackness through the narrow Straits, bearing with them into the broad waters of the North the safeguard of considerable affairs....The King’s ships were at sea."
There is a poetry in Churchill's words, which makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Even after all these years.
"I have watched from my windows a great many people in the park to see what they do when the sirens sound.
They do nothing at all.
The smallest shower of rain will make them melt away, but they take not the slightest notice of the banshee.....and even so I do not know what the people can do in the day-time. At night they ought always to go to whatever is the safest place, and forget their cares. Once there they require no sirens to disturb their slumber." (July 1944)
His broadcast to France, 1940:
"... Good night, then. Sleep, to gather strength for the morning. For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true; kindly upon all who suffer for the cause; glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn."
"The printed page is not the correct medium for these speeches, of course. To feel the shiver down one's spine at Churchill's words only recordings will do. They alone can convey the growls, the sudden leonine roars, the lyrical sentences, the cigar-and-brandy toned voice, the sheer defiance coming straight from the viscera insisting upon no surrender in a war to the death."
Andrew Roberts, 'Hitler and Churchill - Secrets of Leadership' (2003).
Thought that I had posted this one before but I can't find it.
Lady Astor to Churchill. “If you were my husband I would poison your drink”
Churchill's reply. “If you were my wife I would drink it”.
His thoughts on a vegetarian diet (in a letter to Lord Woolton at the Ministry of Food, 1940):
"I am glad you do not set too much store by the reports of the Scientific Committee. Almost all the food faddists I have ever known, nut-eaters and the like, have died young after a long period of senile decay... The way to lose the war is to try to force the British public into a diet of milk, oatmeal, potatoes, etc, washed down on gala occasions with a little lime juice."
"To the coalition government which he immediately formed he gave vigorous leadership, something hitherto felt to be lacking. More important than this, he called forth in his people, whom he addressed frequently by radio, qualities they had forgotten they possessed."
J.M. Roberts, 'The Pelican History of the World' (1976).
The Munich Agreement:
"... [The British people] should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defences; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: 'Thou are weighed in the balance and found wanting.'
"And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning.This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden times."
His advice to Chamberlain on Anglo-German relations, 1938:
" ... never will you have friendship with the present German government. You must have diplomatic and correct relations, but there can never be friendship between the British democracy and the Nazi power, that power which spurns Christian ethics, which cheers its onward course by a barbarous paganism, which vaunts the spirit of aggression and conquest, which derives strength and perverted pleasure from persecution, and uses, as we have seen, with pitiless brutality the threat of murderous force. That power can never be the trusted friend of British democracy."
"Far out on the grey waters of the North Sea and the Channel coursed and patrolled the faithful, eager flotillas peering through the night. High in the air soared the fighter pilots, or waited serene at a moment's notice around their excellent machines. This was a time when it was equally good to live or die."
'The Terrible Beauty of the Summer of 1940' (2001), by Roy Jenkins:
"... How he found the time to produce these [speeches] almost challenges belief. ...Yet it was time well spent, for that fateful summer, the climax of his whole long life, was measured out and given shape, like the intervention of choruses in a Greek play, by these Churchillian orations. ... They not only matched the mood of the moment but have survived six decades etched in the memory of many who were young at the time and are old now. They were an inspiration for the nation, and a catharis for Churchill himself."
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