Page:Great Speeches of the War.djvu/324

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Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill

the whole of the European Continent. Let me also say this. Let us concentrate all our warlike feeling on fighting the enemy in the field, upon creating a great military weapon with which to carry out the purposes of the war.

There is a certain class of person who likes to work his warlike feelings off upon the unfortunate alien enemy within our gates, and, of course, all necessary measures should be taken for the security of the country and for the proper carrying out of military needs; but let us always have this feeling in our hearts that after the war is over people shall not only admire our victory, but shall say of us: "They have fought like gentlemen." [Cheers.] The Romans had a motto: Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos, "Spare the conquered and war down the proud." Let that be the spirit in which we conduct this war. Let all those who feel under the provocations of this horrible struggle their hearts suffused with anger and with ruth, let them turn it into a practical channel and go to the front, or, if circumstances prevent them, let them help others to go, keeping them maintained in the highest state of efficiency and looking after those they have left behind. [Cheers.]

I have not spoken too much about the justice of our cause, because it has been most eloquently set out by the Prime Minister and Sir Edward Grey, and by Mr. Bonar Law and the other leaders of the Opposition. And much more eloquently than by any speakers in this or any other country the justice of our cause has been set out by the brutal facts which have occurred and which have marched on us from day to day.

Some thought there would be a German war and some did not, but no one supposed that a great military nation would exhibit all the vices of a military organization without those redeeming virtues which, God knows, are needed to relieve warlike operations from the taint of shame. But we have been confronted with an exhibition of ruthlessness and outrage enforced on the weak, enforced on defenceless women and children. ["Shame."] We have been confronted with repeated breaches of the laws of honourable warfare, with practices analogous to those which, in private life, are regarded as cheating, which deprive the persons or the country adopting them or condoning them of the credit and respect due to honourable soldiers. We have been confronted with all this. Let us not imitate it. [Cheers.] Let us not try to make