10 of Winston Churchill's Best Quotes

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Winston Churchill, who died 50 years ago today, once said, “For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.” Mission accomplished.

1. "I like pigs. Cats look down on you; dogs look up to you; but pigs treat you like an equal."

Recounted by Churchill’s former secretary Anthony Montague Browne.


2. "We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy."

To the Canadian House of Commons, December 30 1941


3. "History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days."

To the House of Commons, November 12, 1940 


4. "[I]t has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

To the House of Commons, November 11, 1947 


5. "If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time."

Advice to the Prince of Wales, future king Edward VIII 1919 


6. "For myself, I am an optimist—it does not seem to be much use being anything else."

Speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet in London, November 9, 1954 


7. "Now we have 'adequacy.' What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all. It is simply what His Majesty's Ministers at any given moment, surveying what they have got, choose to say is adequate.

To the House of Commons, November 17, 1938 


8. "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

To Harrow School, October 29, 1941 


9. "It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."

To the House of Commons, February 27, 1945 


10. "In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet."

Recounted by Lord Norman Brook in Working with Churchill