Above all and first, the importance of Henry V is what it teaches about leadership. “True leadership,” writes Andrew Roberts, “stirs us in a way that is deeply embedded in our genes and psyche.…If the underlying factors of leadership have remained the same for centuries, cannot these lessons be learned and applied in situations far removed from ancient times?”
Churchill’s war speeches are—what shall we say—inspired by, remindful of, analogous to Shakespeare’s works in ancient times.…
I’m searching for a quote about William Pitt, used also about Churchill in 1940: something like, “No one left his presence who did not feel braver,” but more eloquent. —M.M., Indiana
The quote about Pitt is from the 30 May 1940 diary of John Martin, one of Churchill’s private secretaries, first published in Martin Gilbert’s Official Biography, Winston S. Churchill, vol. VI, Finest Hour 1939-1941 (London: Heinemann, 1983), 435-36:
During May 30  Desmond Morton sent Churchill a seven page note by the Australian High Commissioner in London, Stanley Bruce, arguing, in one of its paragraphs, in favour of an international conference “to formulate a peace settlement.” Churchill struck out this paragraph, and wrote in the margin: “No.” Crossing out Bruce’s final point, that “the further shedding of blood and the continuance of hideous suffering is unnecessary” and that the belligerents should “cease the struggle,” Churchill wrote: “Rot,” and went on to note, for Morton: “The end is rotten.” That night one of Churchill’s private secretaries, John Martin, wrote home: “The PM’s confidence and energy are amazing.…
Please verify a Churchill story/quotation during his defense of his budget in front of the House of Commons while London was being bombed. A Member questioned Churchill’s increase in the arts budget while Britain was fighting for her life. Churchill’s supposedly responded that he could justify the increase “to remind us what we are fighting for.” —K.L., Chicago.
This alleged quotation was raised some few years ago in the Village Voice and is all over the web, but it is not among Churchill’s 15 million published words in speeches, papers, letters, articles or books.