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Winston Churchill

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

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


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 love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.

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.

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

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.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.

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.

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!

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.

Eating words has never given me indigestion.

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.

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.

For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.

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.

Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt... 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.

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 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 am reminded of the professor who, in his declining hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final counsel. He replied, 'Verify your quotations.'

I cannot pretend to feel impartial about 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 have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.

I have been brought up and trained to have the utmost contempt for people who get drunk.

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

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 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 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."

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

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

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

Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it.

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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 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 day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War'.

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.

Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.

So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.

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

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

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

The first quality that is needed is audacity.

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 maxim of the British people is "Business as usual."

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Quotes by Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

1874 to 1965

English statesman, soldier, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War Two

 
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