Tag: Boer War

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Origins of a Famous Phrase

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Origins of a Famous Phrase

Though he gave per­ma­nent life to blood, toil, tears and sweat, Churchill’s best-remem­bered words did not orig­i­nate with him. Sim­i­lar expres­sions date very far back. (Excerpt­ed from my essay for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. To read the full arti­cle, click here.)

Quo­ta­tions schol­ar Ralph Keyes writes:

Cicero and Livy wrote of  “sweat and blood.” A 1611 John Donne poem includ­ed the lines “That ‘tis in vaine to dew, or mol­li­fie / It with thy Tear­es, or Sweat, or Bloud.” More than two cen­turies lat­er, Byron wrote, “Year after year they vot­ed cent per cent / Blood, sweat, and tear-wrung millions—why?—for rent!” In his 1888 play Smith, Scot­tish poet-play­wright John David­son wrote of “Blood – sweats and tears, and hag­gard, home­less lives.” By 1939, a Lady Tegart report­ed in a mag­a­zine arti­cle that Jew­ish com­mu­nal colonies in Pales­tine were “built on a foun­da­tion of blood, sweat, and tears”….Since this phrase was obvi­ous­ly famil­iar when Churchill gave his mem­o­rable speech the fol­low­ing year, even though he rearranged the words and added “toil” for good mea­sure, our ears and our mem­o­ry quick­ly returned them to the more famil­iar form.…

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Clement Attlee’s Noble Tribute to Winston Churchill

Clement Attlee’s Noble Tribute to Winston Churchill

My col­league Richard Cohen com­mends a eulo­gy to Churchill by the great Labour Par­ty leader Clement Attlee. It occurred in the House of Lords on 25 Jan­u­ary 1965, the day after Sir Win­ston died. It is notable for its fine words. More­over, it shows how their rela­tion­ship as col­leagues eclipsed that of polit­i­cal oppo­nents. At a time of great­ly strained rela­tions between the par­ties, on both sides of the pond, this is a thought­ful reminder that things could be dif­fer­ent.

Attlee was the first prime min­is­ter of a social­ist gov­ern­ment with an out­right major­i­ty (1945-51).…

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Galloper Jack Seely, Churchillian

Galloper Jack Seely, Churchillian

A col­league asks if it’s true that Churchill com­rade Jack Seely was “arrest­ed for arro­gance” in the Boer War! It doesn’t sound to either of us like an arrestable offense, but fits the character—a lord­ly aris­to­crat-adven­tur­er, and thus almost inevitable Friend of Win­ston. Churchill and Seely, cir­ca 1912.

A Churchill biog­ra­ph­er, Esme Wing­field-Strat­ford, agreed: “Gal­lant Jack Seely, from the Isle of Wight…a light-heart­ed gam­bler with death, was about the one man who could claim a record to com­pare with that of Win­ston him­self.”

C.N True­man thinks that Jack Seely could not have lived in the 21st cen­tu­ry.…

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