Tag: John Martin

“No one left…without feeling a braver man.”

“No one left…without feeling a braver man.”

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 [1940] 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.…

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