Advertisement

Churchill brings English language alive

LONDON, April 5, 1955 (UP) -- Winston Churchill is famous for what he has done-and for what he has said while doing it. Seldom since Shakespeare has a person struck such fire from the English language.

Here are some of the Churchill words that brought tears of pride and laughter to the world:

Advertisement

May 13, 1940 (three days after being named prime minister to lead Britain's war effort):

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

"You ask what is our policy? I will say it is to wage war-by sea, land, and air, with all our might and 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 crimes.

"That is our policy."

In 1941:

"If Hitler invaded hell, I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."

June 4, 1940-(Report on Dunkirk):

"Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of the Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

Advertisement

"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 fight on the trenches, 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."

In June 1940, when Britain was expecting an invasion by Hitler's forces, the prime minister had this to say:

"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....

"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."

In the autumn of 1940 the savage air duels of the Battle of Britain were fought. A skinny force of Spitfires and Hurricanes beat back the Luftwaffe. Churchill said of the youth flying the British planes: 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Advertisement

But even in time of crisis, Churchill had his lighter side. He said of the possible Hitler invasion:

"We are waiting for the long promised invasion. So are the fishes."

He once put his personal philosophy this way:

"Live dangerously. Take things as they come. Dread naught. All will be well."

His view on progress:

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

Scotland Yard warned Churchill he faced danger of assassination during his 1932 lecture tour of the United States. But when his agent, Louis Alber, came to see him about the warning Churchill asked him to fetch a bottle of champagne.

"All right," Alber said. "But I'll have to put off making plans against these plots if I to for it."

"First things first," said Churchill. "Get the champagne."

"I don't use either alcohol or tobacco," teetotaling Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery once told Churchill. "And I'm 100 per cent efficient."

Churchill said, "I use both and my efficiency is 200 per cent."

And he also said:

"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."

Churchill coined the now famous "Iron Curtain" phrase. During a speech at Fulton, Mo., in March, 1946, he warned of the new Russian threat and said:

Advertisement

"A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the allied victory. From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Throughout the world ... the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization."

Harry Hopkins liked to tell how President Roosevelt went Into Churchill's bedroom at the White House, came upon the prime minister just emerging in the pink from his bath and hurriedly started to withdraw. But Churchill told him to come on in, booming:

"The Prime Minister of Great Britain has nothing to hide from the President of the United States."

A caller once commented to Churchill on hew well America's conquered enemies fare on United States aid and suggested facetiously that Britain might solve her financial woes if she went to war with the U.S.

"We might win," Churchill growled.

Latest Headlines