Winston Churchill - Famous Quotes
» A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.» A joke is a very serious thing.» A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.» A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.» A politician needs 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.» A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.» Advertising nourishes the consuming power of men. It sets up before a man the goal of a better home, better clothing, better food for himself and his family. It spurs individual exertion and greater production.» Air power can either paralyze the enemy's military action or compel him to devote to the defense of his bases and communications a share of his straitened resources far greater that what we need in the attack.» All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.» Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement.» Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.» Although present on the occasion, I have no clear recollection of the events leading up to it.» An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.» At every crisis the Kaiser crumpled. In defeat he fled; in revolution he abdicated; in exile he remarried.» Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.» Baldwin thought Europe was a bore, and Chamberlain thought it was only a greater Birmingham.» Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.» Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.» Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.» By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.» [Clement Attle is] a sheep in sheep's clothing.» Clement Attlee is a modest man who has a good deal to be modest about.» 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.» Danger - if you meet it promptly and without flinching - you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!» Death came very easily to her. She had lived such an innocent and loving life of service to others and held such a simple faith, that she had no fears at all and did not seem to mind very much.» Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.» Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.» Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old.» Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.» Eating words has never given me indigestion.» Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.» Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.» For good or for ill, air mastery is today the supreme expression of military power and fleets and armies, however vital and important, must accept a subordinate rank.» 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 myself.» From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.» From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.» He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.» He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.» He is a modest little man who has a good deal to be modest about.» History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.» However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.» I also hope that I sometimes suggested to the lion the right place to use his claws.» I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is a much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place.» 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.» I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.» I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.» I am bored with it all.» I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.» I am easily satisfied with the very best.» I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.» 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.» I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.» I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interests.» I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.» I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence-which is a noble thing.» I had no idea of the enormous and unquestionably helpful part that humbug plays in the social life of great peoples dwelling in a state of democratic freedom.» I have been brought up and trained to have the utmost contempt for people who get drunk.» I have never accepted what many people have kindly said-namely that I inspired the nation. Their will was resolute and remorseless, and as it proved, unconquerable. It fell to me to express it.» I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.» I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.» I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.» I like a man who grins when he fights.» I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.» I never worry about action, but only inaction.» I shall always be glad to have seen it-for the same reason Papa gave for being glad to have seen Lisbon-namely, that it will be unnecessary ever to see it again.» I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.» I'm just preparing my impromptu remarks.» If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.» If I was your wife Sir, I'd poison you! Madam, if you were my wife, I'd let you!» If the Almighty were to rebuild the world and asked me for advice, I would have English Channels round every country. And the atmosphere would be such that anything which attempted to fly would be set on fire.» If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.» If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.» If you are going through hell, keep going.» If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.» 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.» If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.» If you're going through hell, keep going.» 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.» In those days he was wiser than he is now; he used to frequently take my advice.» 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.» In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times.» In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.» It cannot in the opinion of His Majesty's Government be classified as slavery in the extreme acceptance of the word without some risk of terminological inexactitude.» It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.» It is a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right.» It is a gaping wound, whenever one touches it and removes the bandages and plasters of daily life.» It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.» It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.» It is a remarkable comment on our affairs that the former prime minister of a great sovereign state should thus be received as an honorary citizen of another.» It is all right to rat, but you can't re-rat.» It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.» It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.» It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.» It may be that we shall by a process of sublime irony have reached a stage in this story where safety will be the sturdy child of terror, and survival the twin brother of annihilation.» 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.» It's no use saying, We are doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.» Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it.» Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.» Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years men will still say, This was their finest hour.» Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.» Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No 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 others that have been tried from time to time.» Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.» Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.» Moral of the Work. In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.» Most people stumble over the truth, now and then, but they usually manage to pick themselves up and go on, anyway.» Mr. Gladstone read Homer for fun, which I thought served him right.» My hand seemed arrested by a silent veto.» My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.» My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.» My wife and I tried two or three times in the last 40 years to have breakfast together, but it was so disagreeable we had to stop.» 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 hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.» Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.» Never, never, never give up.» No comment is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.» No crime is so great as daring to excel.» No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.» No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered with a searching but at the same time a steady eye.» No lover ever studied every whim of his mistress as I did those of President Roosevelt.» No matter how enmeshed a commander becomes in the elaboration of his own thoughts, it is sometimes necessary to take the enemy into account.» No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than the fighting of elections.» Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.» Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.» Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.» One does not leave a convivial party before closing time.» 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!» Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.» Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right, than to be responsible and wrong.» Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.» Play the game for more than you can afford to lose... only then will you learn the game.» Politics are very much like war. We may even have to use poison gas at times.» Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.» Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.» 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.» Really I feel less keen about the Army every day. I think the Church would suit me better.» Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.» Say what you have to say and the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending-sit down.» Short words are best and the old words when short are best of 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.» Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.» 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.» Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is - the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.» Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.» Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.» Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiam.» Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.» Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.» Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves.» The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.» The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.» The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.» The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.» The first quality that is needed is audacity.» The great defense against the air menace is to attack the enemy's aircraft as near as possible to their point of departure.» The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.» The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.» The latest refinements of science are linked with the cruelties of the Stone Age.» The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.» The loyalties which center upon number one are enormous. If he trips, he must be sustained. If he make mistakes, they must be covered. If he sleeps, he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he is no good, he must be pole-axed.» The maxim of the British people is Business as usual.» The monarchy is so extraordinarily useful. When Britain wins a battle she shouts, God save the Queen; when she loses, she votes down the prime minister.» The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.» The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.» The power of an air force is terrific when there is nothing to oppose it.» The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.» The price of greatness is responsibility.» The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.» The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.» The Russians will try all the rooms in a house, enter those that are not locked, and when they come to one that cannot be broken into, they will withdraw and invite you to dine genially that same evening.» The short words are best, and the old words are the best of all.» The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.» Their insatiable lust for power is only equaled by their incurable impotence in exercising it.» There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.» 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.» There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.» There is no such thing as a good tax.» There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion.» There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.» There was unanimous, automatic, unquestioned agreement around our table.» These are not dark days: these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived.» They are decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.» They told me that Gladstone read Homer for fun, which I thought served him right.» This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.» This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.» 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.» To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.» To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.» To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.» 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.» True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.» Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end; there it is.» 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.» War is a catalouge of blunders.» War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.» War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.» We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm.» We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.» We have a lot of anxieties, and one cancels out another very often.» We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.» We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.» We must beware of needless innovations, especially when guided by logic.» We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.» 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.» We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.» We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.» We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.» We will have no truce or parlay with you [Hitler], or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst - and we will do our best.» 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.» 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 the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.» When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin.» When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise.» When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.» When you took your seat I felt as if a woman had come into my bathroom and I had only the sponge to defend myself.» Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed.» Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.» Working hours are never long enough. Each day is a holiday, and ordinary holidays are grudged as enforced interruptions in an absorbing vocation.» Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.» You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.» You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.