[Illustration: RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL]
MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
"He was not free from that careless life-contemning desperation, which sometimes belongs to forcible natures.... He was too heedless of his good name and too blind to the truth that though right and wrong may be near neighbours, yet the line that separates them is of an awful sacredness."—JOHN MORLEY (of Danton).
Mr. Winston Churchill was one of its most interesting figures in the Parliament which included Joseph Chamberlain, Charles Dilke, and George Wyndham. With the fading exception of Mr. Lloyd George, he is easily the most interesting figure in the present House of Commons.
There still clings to his career that element of great promise and unlimited uncertainty which from his first entrance into politics has interested both the public and the House of Commons. He has disappointed his admirers on several occasions, but not yet has he exhausted their patience or destroyed their hopes.
His intellectual gifts are considerable, his personal courage is of a quality that makes itself felt even in the bosom of hate, and he possesses in a unique degree the fighting qualities of the born politician. No man is more difficult to shout down, and no man responds more gratefully to opposition of the fiercer kind. If on several occasions he has disappointed his friends, also on several occasions he has confounded his enemies.
From his youth up Mr. Churchill has loved with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his soul, and with all his strength, three things—war, politics, and himself. He loved war for its dangers, he loves politics for the same reason, and himself he has always loved for the knowledge that his mind is dangerous—dangerous to his enemies, dangerous to his friends, dangerous to himself. I can think of no man I have ever met who would so quickly and so bitterly eat his heart out in Paradise.
He was once asked if politics were more to him than any other pursuit of mankind.
“Politics,” he replied, “are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous.”
“Even with the new rifle?”
“Well, in war,” he answered, “you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.”