Tag: Edmund Burke

Origins: “I’ll kiss him on all four cheeks”

Origins: “I’ll kiss him on all four cheeks”

Q: Churchill’s Kiss: A Cheeky Affair

I found myself using an alleged Churchill wit­ti­cism I have long known, but could not find in your book, Churchill’s Wit: The Defin­i­tive Col­lec­tion (2009). As I have it, Churchill was prepar­ing to meet Mar­shal Stal­in, and a diplo­mat­ic advi­sor said, “He will prob­a­bly expect to kiss you on both cheeks.” “Oh, that’s all right,” said Churchill, “as long as he doesn’t want to be kissed on all four.” Can you ver­i­fy this one?

My own main area of schol­ar­ly research is Samuel John­son, anoth­er sub­ject often mis­at­trib­uted.…

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Churchill’s Washington Humor, Part 1

Churchill’s Washington Humor, Part 1

A friend who is deliv­er­ing a Churchill speech in D.C. asked for some exam­ples of Churchil­ian humor involv­ing Wash­ing­ton and U.S. Pres­i­dents.

Every­one enjoys Churchill’s famous crack in his first (1941) speech to Con­gress:

“If my father had been Amer­i­can, and my moth­er British, instead of the oth­er way round, I might have got here on my own!” That brought down the house.

When in the U.S., Churchill liked to empha­size his Amer­i­can roots. Broad­cast­ing to Amer­i­ca six months ear­li­er, he avowed some­thing he always believed:

 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 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.…

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Churchill on Edmund Burke (Part 2)

Churchill on Edmund Burke (Part 2)

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.…

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