The Hillsdale College Churchill Project received a novel question: “After his 1908 African safari, Churchill’s taxidermists ask if he wants a ‘Rhinoceros Table.’ What in the world is a Rhinoceros Table?”
Rhinoceros Table, anyone? The reference is in The Churchill Documents, vol. 4, Minister of the Crown, 1907-1911 (2007), page 753:
Rowland Ward Ltd., 167 Piccadilly, to WSC, 4 March 1908
Sir, In accordance with instructions given on your behalf by Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Wilson, we have in hand the following: MODELLED HEADS 1 Rhinoceros, 1 Zebra, 1 Warthog, 1 Wildebeest, 1 Coke’s Hartebeest, 1 Grant’s Gazelle, 1 Thomson’s Gazelle and the dressing of three Zebra skins, at a total cost of £32.…
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles.”
The statement above is attributed to Churchill. I cannot find it, as a speech or in a book. Although it is widely and increasingly quoted in the Indian press and, given what is happening, he seems to have been prophetic! —K.P., India
I searched for this line, and isolated key word combinations (rascals, etc.), without success.…
I came across a saying by Churchill on the lines of: “There are 13 million feathers on a dragonfly’s wing yet it is but a mouthful for a bird.” He was saying that only in humans does one finds sentimentality, sadness or compassion for dreadful things that happen. —R.H.
I searched for “dragonfly’s wing” and nothing came up. I tried “million feathers” and sure enough! Great quote. Sorry I missed it in Churchill by Himself, but it will be in the sequel, The Definitive Wit of Winston Churchill.
On 10 January 1898 Winston wrote to his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, from Bangalore, India, where he was stationed, imploring her to help him join the Sudan Campaign as a war correspondent.…