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Quotes of the day: Winston Churchill

Published Sunday, November 29, 2015 @ 3:17 PM EST
Nov 29 2015

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD DL FRS RA (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow.

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

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

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

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.

Democracy is no harlot to be picked up in the street by a man with a tommy gun.

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

Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.

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

Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig! He looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.

Eating words has never given me indigestion.

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history.

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught.

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

I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities which he excites among his opponents.

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

I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.

I think 'no comment' is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.

I want no criticism of America at my table. The Americans criticize themselves more than enough.

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

If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.

In war-time truth is so precious she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

Is it better to have equality at the price of poverty or well-being at the price of inequality?

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations... The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.

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

My education was interrupted only by my schooling.

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.

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

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

Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance.

Nothing is more dangerous in wartime than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always feeling one's pulse and taking one's temperature.

Nothing would induce me to vote for giving women the franchise. I am not going to be hen-pecked into a question of such importance.
(in 1910)

Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.

Peace will not be preserved by pious sentiments.

Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.

Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.

Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.

Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.

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

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

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

The maxim 'Nothing but perfection' may be spelled 'Paralysis.'

The price of greatness is responsibility.

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

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 truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.

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

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.

Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.

War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

We owe something to extravagance, for thrift and adventure seldom go hand in hand.

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

What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?

When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

When I make a statement of facts within my knowledge I expect it to be accepted.

When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.

Whether you believe or disbelieve, it is a wicked thing to take away Man's hope.

Why, you may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together-what do you get? The sum of their fears.

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing; after they've tried everything else.

You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

You must look at the facts because they look at you.

You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.


(November 30 is also the birthday of L.M. Montgomery.)

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