Blog Poetry

Great Words Of Winston Churchill

Children and ChildhoodThere is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.Winston Churchill

DangerNothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.Winston Churchill: The Story of the Malakand Field Force

DemocracyNo one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.Winston Churchill

DiplomacyTo jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.Winston Churchill

DrinkingI have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.Winston Churchill

England and the EnglishThe maxim of the British people is “Business as usual.”Winston Churchill

FanaticismA fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.Winston Churchill

Peoples and PlacesIndia is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.Winston Churchill

Peoples and PlacesI cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.Winston Churchill

Perseverance and Effort. . . we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.Winston Churchill

Perseverance and EffortI have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.Winston Churchill

PredictionA hopeful disposition is not the sole qualification to be a prophet.Winston Churchill

QuotationsIt is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.Winston Churchill: My Early Life

Speech and SpeakersI have never accepted what many people have kindly said—namely, that I inspired the nation. . . . It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.Winston Churchill

The MindThe empires of the future are the empires of the mind.Winston Churchill

TruthIn wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.Winston Churchill

TyrannyDictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.Winston Churchill: While England Slept

Victory and DefeatVictory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.Winston Churchill

“No One Would Do Such Things”

“So now the Admiralty wireless whispers through the ether to the tall masts of ships, and captains pace their decks absorbed in thought. It is nothing. It is less than nothing. It is too foolish, too fantastic to be thought of in the twentieth century. Or is it fire and murder leaping out of the darkness at our throats, torpedoes ripping the bellies of half-awakened ships, a sunrise on a vanished naval supremacy, and an island well-guarded hitherto, at last defenceless? No, it is nothing. No one would do such things. Civilization has climbed above such perils. The interdependence of nations in trade and traffic, the sense of public law, the Hague Convention, Liberal principles, the Labour Party, high finance, Christian charity, common sense have rendered such nightmares impossible. Are you quite sure? It would be a pity to be wrong. Such a mistake could only be made once—once for all.”

    —1923, recalling the possibility of war between France and Germany after the Agadir Crisis of 1911, in The World Crisis, vol. 1, 1911-1914, pp. 48-49.

“The King’s Ships Were at Sea”

“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.”

—1923, recalling the passage of the Royal Navy to its war stations at the outbreak of World War I, in The World Crisis,vol. 1, 1911-1914, pp. 212. Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, had taken it upon himself to order the fleet to its stations as war loomed between France and Germany.

“I’d Drink [Poison]” (Apocryphal) 

Lady Astor: “If I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.”

Reply: “If I were married to you, I’d drink it.”

       —1920s. Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert said this exchange was more likely to have occurred between Lady Astor and Churchill’s good friend F.E. Smith, Lord Birkenhead, a notorious acerbic wit. But both Consuelo Vanderbilt (The Glitter and the Gold) and Christopher Sykes (Nancy: The Life of Lady Astor) say the riposte was by Churchill. The argument was rendered moot when Fred Shapiro, in The Yale Book of Quotations, tracked the origins of the phrase to a joke line from a 1900 edition of The Chicago Tribune.

“Total and Unmitigated Defeat”

“I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and France has suffered even more than we have….the German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course.”

       —House of Commons, 5 October 1938, after the Munich agreement began the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. The rest of that unhappy country was swallowed by Hitler six months later.

“Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat”

“I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many long months of toil and struggle.

“You ask what is our policy. I will say, it is to wage war with all our might, with all the strength that God can give us, to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.

“You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.”

       —First speech as Prime Minister, House of Commons, 13 May 1940. Churchill first used the phrase “blood and sweat” in 1900; “Blood, sweat and tears” came together in his 1939 article, “Can Franco Restore Unity and Strength to Spain.”

“Be Ye Men of Valour”

“Today is Trinity Sunday. Centuries ago words were written to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of Truth and Justice: ‘Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.’”

       —First broadcast as Prime Minister, 19 May 1940. Churchill adopted the quotation from 1 Maccabees 3:58-60. The four Books of the Maccabees, also spelt “Machabbes,” are not in the Hebrew Bible but the first two books are part of canonical scripture in the Septuagint and the Vulgate and are in the Protestant Apocrypha. But Churchill somewhat edited the text. For the original wording click here.

“Never Surrender”

“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!”

       —House of Commons, 4 June 1940, following the evacuation of British and French armies from Dunkirk as the German tide swept through France.

“Their Finest Hour”

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their Finest Hour.’

       —House of Commons, 18 June 1940, following the collapse of France. Many thought Britain would follow.


“War of the Unknown Warriors”

This is no war of chieftains or of princes, of dynasties or national ambition; it is a war of peoples and of causes. There are vast numbers, not only in this island but in every land, who will render faithful service in this war but whose names will never be known, whose deeds will never be recorded. This is a war of the Unknown Warriors; but let all strive without failing in faith or in duty, and the dark curse of Hitler will be lifted from our age.”

       —BBC Broadcast, London, 14 July 1940

“The Few”

“The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. “

       —Tribute to the Royal Air Force, House of Commons, 20 August 1940. The Battle of Britain peaked a month later. Because of German bombing raids, Churchill said, Britain was “a whole nation fighting and suffering together.” He had worked out the phrase about “The Few” in his mind as he visited the Fighter Command airfields in Southern England.

“A Dark and Deadly Valley”

“Far be it from me to paint a rosy picture of the future. Indeed, I do not think we should be justified in using any but the most sombre tones and colours while our people, our Empire and indeed the whole English-speaking world are passing through a dark and deadly valley. But I should be failing in my duty if, on the other wise, I were not to convey the true impression, that a great nation is getting into its war stride.”

       —House of Commons, 22 January 1941

“Linchpin of the English-Speaking World”

“Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. Canada, with those relations of friendly, affectionate intimacy with the United States on the one hand and with her unswerving fidelity to the British Commonwealth and the Motherland on the other, is the link which joins together these great branches of the human family, a link which, spanning the oceans, brings the continents into their true relation and will prevent in future generations any growth of division between the proud and the happy nations of Europe and the great countries which have come into existence in the New World.”

       —Mansion House, London, 4 September 1941, at a luncheon in honour of Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada.


“Captain of Our Souls”

“The mood of Britain is wisely and rightly averse from every form of shallow or premature exultation. This is no time for boasts or glowing prophecies, but there is this—a year ago our position looked forlorn, and well nigh desperate, to all eyes but our own. Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world, ‘We are still masters of our fate. We still are captain of our souls.’”

       —House of Commons, 9 September 1941

“Never Give In”

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

       —Harrow School, 29 October 1941. It is commonly believed that Churchill stood up, gave the three-word speech, “Never give in!,” and sat down. This is incorrect, as is the suggestion, variously reported, that the speech occurred at Oxfordor Cambridge. It was on his first visit to his old school, Harrow, where he would continue to return for the annual “Songs,” making his last appearance in 1961.

“Child of the House of Commons”     

“I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father’s house to believe in democracy. ‘Trust the people’—that was his message….I owe my advancement entirely to the House of Commons, whose servant I am. In my country, as in yours, public men are proud to be the servants of the State and would be ashamed to be its masters. Therefore I have been in full harmony all my life with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privilege and monopoly….By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own!”

       —First of three speeches to a Joint Session of the States Congress, after Pearl Harbor, delivered 26 December 1941. (The others occurred in 1943 and 1952.)

“Some Chicken—Some Neck!”

“When I warned [the French] that Britain would fight on alone, whatever they did, their Generals told their Prime Minister and his divided cabinet: ‘In three weeks, England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.

“Some chicken….Some neck!

       —Canadian Parliament, Ottawa, 30 December 1941. Following this speech, Yousuf Karshtook his famous photographs of Churchill.


“Sugar Candy”

“We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.”

       —Canadian Parliament, Ottawa, 30 December 1941.

“The End of the Beginning”

“The Germans have received back again that measure of fire and steel which they have so often meted out to others. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

       —Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House following the victory at El Alamein North Africa,  London, 10 November 1942.


“We Shape Our Buildings”

“On the night of May 10, 1941, with one of the last bombs of the last serious raid, our House of Commons was destroyed by the violence of the enemy, and we have now to consider whether we should build it up again, and how, and when.

“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us. Having dwelt and served for more than forty years in the late Chamber,and having derived very great pleasure and advantage therefrom, I, naturally, should like to see it restored in all essentials to its old form, convenience and dignity.”

       —House of Commons (meeting in the House of Lords), 28 October 1943. The old House was rebuilt in 1950 in its old form, remaining insufficient to seat all its members. Churchill was against “giving each member a desk to sit at and a lid to bang” because, he explained, the House would be mostly empty most of the time; whereas, at critical votes and moments, it would fill beyond capacity, with members spilling out into the aisles, in his view a suitable “sense of crowd and urgency.”

“Up with which I will not put” (Apocryphal)

“This is the kind of tedious [sometimes “pedantic”] nonsense up with which I will not put!”

       —Alleged marginal note by Churchill, 27 February 1944, to a priggish civil servant’s memo objecting to the ending of sentences with prepositions. The New York Times version reported that the Prime Minister underscored “up” heavily.

The sources are cable reports by The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, 28 February 1944. The Yale Book of Quotations quotes The Wall Street Journal of 30 September 1942 which in turn quoted an undated article in The Strand Magazine: “When a memorandum passed round a certain Government department, one young pedant scribbled a postscript drawing attention to the fact that the sentence ended with a preposition, which caused the original writer to circulate another memorandum complaining that the anonymous postscript was ‘offensive impertinence, up with which I will not put.’” Verdict: An invented phrase put in Churchill’s mouth.

“I leave when the pub closes”

Toward the end of World War II, before the July 1945 election that would lose, The Times (London) prepared an editorial suggesting that Churchill campaign as a non-partisan world leader and retire gracefully soon afterward. The editor kindly informed Churchill that he was going to make these two points.

“Mr Editor,” Churchill replied to the first point, “I fight for my corner.”

And, to the second: “Mr Editor, I leave when the pub closes.”

       —May 1945. H.A.Grunwald, Churchill: The Life Triumphant (American Heritage, 1965)

“Lousy” as a Parliamentary Expression

The Minister of Fuel and Power, Hugh Gaitskell, later Attlee’s successor as leader of the Labour Party, advocated saving energy by taking fewer baths: “Personally, I have never had a great many baths myself, and I can assure those who are in the habit of having a great many that it does not make a great difference to their health if they have less.”

This was too much for Churchill, a renowned bather: “When Ministers of the Crown speak like this on behalf of HM Government, the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odour. I have even asked myself, when meditating upon these points, whether you, Mr. Spekaer, would admit the word ‘lousy’ as a Parliamentary expression in referring to the Administration, provided, of course, it was not intended in a contemptuous sense but purely as one of factual narration.”

       —House of Commons, 28 October 1947

“Withhold No Sacrifice”

“We have surmounted all the perils and endured all the agonies of the past. We shall provide against and thus prevail over the dangers and problems of the future, withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe. All will be well. We have, I believe, within us the life-strength and guiding light by which the tormented world around us may find the harbour of safety, after a storm-beaten voyage.”

       —Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, 9 November 1954

 Never, never, never give up. —Winston Churchill

3. Time and money are largely interchangeable terms. —Winston Churchill

4. Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. —Winston Churchill

5. Vengeance is the most costly and dissipating of luxuries. —Winston Churchill

6. Harsh laws are at times better than no laws at all. —Winston Churchill

7. Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others. —Winston Churchill

8. Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts. —Winston Churchill

9. It is not in our power to anticipate our destiny. —Winston Churchill

10. All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope. —Winston Churchill

11. Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result. —Winston Churchill

12. My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best. —Winston Churchill

13. To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often. —Winston Churchill

14. All wisdom is not new wisdom. —Winston Churchill

15. Every man should ask himself each day whether he is not too readily accepting negative solutions. —Winston Churchill

16. If you destroy a free market you create a black market. —Winston Churchill

17. The price of greatness is responsibility. —Winston Churchill

18. All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me. —Winston Churchill

19. “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. —Winston Churchill

20. When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. —Winston Churchill

21. In finance, everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable. —Winston Churchill

22. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in your life. — Winston Churchill

23. The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. —Winston Churchill

24. The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. —Winston Churchill

25. One ought to be just before one is generous. —Winston Churchill

26. To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day. —Winston Churchill

27. It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them. —Winston Churchill

28. Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge. —Winston Churchill

29. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen. —Winston Churchill

30. If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack. —Winston Churchill

31. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. —Winston Churchill

32. I never worry about action, but only about inaction. —Winston Churchill

33. War never pays its dividends in cash on the money it costs. —Winston Churchill

34. Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential. —Winston Churchill

35. Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others. —Winston Churchill

36. Nothing makes a man more reverent than a library. —Winston Churchill

37. You will never get to the end of the journey if you stop to shy a stone at every dog that barks. —Winston Churchill

38. For myself I am an optimist—it does not seem to be much use being anything else. —Winston Churchill

39. The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go. —Winston Churchill

40. One always measures friendships by how they show up in bad weather. —Winston Churchill

41. There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true —Winston Churchill

42. You must look at facts because they look at you. —Winston Churchill

43. The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. —Winston Churchill

44. We have a lot of anxieties, and one cancels out another. —Winston Churchill

45. Nourish your hopes, but do not overlook realities. —Winston Churchill

46. To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real. —Winston Churchill

47. History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. —Winston Churchill

48. It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time. —Winston Churchill

49. Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference. —Winston Churchill

50. Craft is common both to skill and deceit. —Winston Churchill

51. In a war, you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times. —Winston Churchill

52. It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required. —Winston Churchill

53. Evils can be created much quicker than they can be cured. —Winston Churchill

54. Give us the tools, and we will finish the job. —Winston Churchill

55. Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace, and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war. —Winston Churchill

56. Broadly speaking short words are best and the old words when short, are best of all. —Winston Churchill

57. We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us. —Winston Churchill

58. Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. —Winston Churchill

59. There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right. —Winston Churchill

60. What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all. —Winston Churchill

61. In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet. —Winston Churchill

62. It is the time to dare and endure. —Winston Churchill

63. If we open a quarrel between the past and the present we shall find that we have lost the future. —Winston Churchill

64. Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen. —Winston Churchill

65. It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic. —Winston Churchill

66. I have in my life concentrated more on self-expression than self-denial. —Winston Churchill

67. There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true. —Winston Churchill

68. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. —Winston Churchill

69. There is always much to be said for not attempting more than you can do and for making a certainty of what you try. But this principle, like others in life and war, has it exceptions. —Winston Churchill

70. The true guide of life is to do what is right. —Winston Churchill

71. Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. —Winston Churchill

72. You never can tell whether bad luck may not after all turn out to be good luck. —Winston Churchill

73. You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the performance is to be a success. —Winston Churchill

74. Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. —Winston Churchill

75. Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business. —Winston Churchill

76. I like things to happen, and if they don’t happen I like to make them happen. —Winston Churchill

77. An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last. —Winston Churchill

78. The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself. —Winston Churchill

79. Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed. —Winston Churchill

80. I am never going to have anything more to do with politics or politicians. When this war is over I shall confine myself entirely to writing and painting. —Winston Churchill

81. The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. —Winston Churchill

82. I may be drunk Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly. —Winston Churchill

83. I object on principle to doing by legislation what properly belongs to human good feeling and charity. —Winston Churchill

84. Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. —Winston Churchill

85. Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. —Winston Churchill

86. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. —Winston Churchill

87. The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we do not want a world of engineers. —Winston Churchill

88. The English never draw a line without blurring it. —Winston Churchill

89. You cannot cure cancer by a majority. —Winston Churchill

90. If we win, nobody will care. If we lose, there will be nobody to care. —Winston Churchill

91. The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. —Winston Churchill

92. We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it. —Winston Churchill

93. We must beware of needless innovation, especially when guided by logic. —Winston Churchill

94. If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. —Winston Churchill

95. We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. —Winston Churchill

96. Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old. —Winston Churchill

97. There is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure. —Winston Churchill

98. Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong. —Winston Churchill

99. I’m prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. —Winston Churchill

100. We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty. —Winston Churchill

101. A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. —Winston Churchill

The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.

It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.

It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.

I have never accepted what many people have kindly said, namely that I have inspired the nation. It was the nation and the race dwelling all around the globe that had the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.

Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.

Say what you have to say and the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending – sit down.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: “This was their finest hour.

Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived.

The English know how to make the best of things. Their so-called muddling through is simply skill at dealing with the inevitable.

War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.

In war, as in life, it is often necessary, when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

No one can guarantee success in war, but only deserve it.

If one has to submit, it is wasteful not to do so with the best grace possible.

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.

Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is the allotted span for all we must cram into it!

We must beware of needless innovations, especially when guided by logic.

One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!

Success is never found. Failure is never fatal. Courage is the only thing.

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the hard may be; for without victory there is no survival.

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.

The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

The English never draw a line without blurring it.

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.

To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.

You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

In finance, everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable.

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right.

It is a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right.

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace, and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.

It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.

Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.

We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.

It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them.

We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

“Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.”

The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we do not want a world of engineers.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.

Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.

Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old.

If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find we have lost the future.

I may be drunk, miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others.

Every man should ask himself each day whether he is not too readily accepting negative solutions.

The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy then an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Broadly speaking short words are best and the old words when short, are best of all.

“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

I am never going to have anything more to do with politics or politicians. When this war is over I shall confine myself entirely to writing and painting.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.

There is always much to be said for not attempting more than you can do and for making a certainty of what you try. But this principle, like others in life and war, has it exceptions.

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.

“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.

Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others.

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.

“I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.” – Winston Churchill

Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.

I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.

There is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

No crime is so great as daring to excel.

I always seem to get inspiration and renewed vitality by contact with this great novel land of yours which sticks up out of the Atlantic.

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

“Play the game for more than you can afford to lose. Only then will you learn the game.” – Winston Churchill

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