Churchill on Edmund Burke (Part 2)

by Richard Langworth on 8 April 2012

continued from Part 1……

More quotations on the  Great Burke in Churchill By Himself:

1941, in a broadcast to America:

The great Burke has truly said, “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors,” and I feel it most agreeable to recall to you that the Jeromes [Churchill’s maternal forebears] were rooted for many generations in American soil, and fought in Washington’s armies for the independence of the American Colonies and the foundation of the United States. I expect I was on both sides then. And I must say I feel on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean now. —BBC, London, 16 June

1940s, re the Russians in World War II:

A generation would no doubt come to whom their miseries were unknown but it would be sure of having more to eat and bless Stalin’s name. I did not repeat Burke’s dictum, “If I cannot have reform without injustice, I will not have reform.” With the World War going on all round us it seemed vain to moralise aloud. —The Hinge of Fate (1951)

Collin Brooks 1893-1959 (Wikimedia Commons)

One more reference to Burke in is on page 18, a quotation by Collin Brooks about Winston Churchill the conversationalist in Churchill By His Contemporaries (1953):

Never was a talker so variously gifted, so ardently listened-to, so little of a prig; never was a man so wedded to precision and verbal nicety so little of a pedant….Sir Winston Churchill would have been equally welcomed by Falstaff in EastcheapBen Jonson at the Mermaid, or Burke and Johnson at the Mitre, that is, in any coterie where the talk is masculine, the wit and humour spontaneous, the erudition unparaded, and where gusto is the prime quality.



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