When, for example, yielding to that persistent Call of Empire for his service he interpreted England’s cause in the war at Queen’s Hall in London, in September, 1914, in what was in many respects his noblest speech, he said in referring to Belgium and Servia:
“God has chosen little nations as the vessels by which He carries His choicest wines to the lips of humanity, to rejoice their hearts, to exalt their vision, to stimulate and strengthen their faith; and if we had stood by when two little nations were being crushed and broken by the brutal hands of barbarism, our shame would have rung down the everlasting ages.”
In closing this speech which he gave the characteristic Lloyd George title of “Through Terror to Triumph,” he uttered a peroration full of meaning and significance to United States in its present hour of pride and prosperity. He said:
“We have been living in a sheltered valley for generations. We have been too comfortable and too indulgent, many, perhaps, too selfish, and the stern hand of fate has scourged us to an elevation where we can see the everlasting things that matter for a nation—the great peaks we had forgotten, of Honour, Duty, Patriotism, and, clad in glittering white, the towering pinacle of Sacrifice pointing like a rugged finger to Heaven.
“We shall descend into the valleys again; but as long as the men and women of this generation last, they will carry in their hearts the image of those mighty peaks whose foundations are not shaken, though Europe rock and sway in the convulsions of a great war.”
Now take a closing look at the man himself. You see a stocky, well-knit figure, broad of shoulder and deep of chest. The animated body is surmounted by a face that alternately beams and gleams. There are strength and sensitiveness, good humour, courage and resolution in these features. His eyes are large and luminous, aglow at times with the poetry of the Celt: aflame again with the fervour of mighty purpose. He moves swiftly. To have him pass you by is to get a breath of life.
To all this strength and power he brings undeniable charm. In action he is like a man exalted: in repose he becomes tender, dreamy, almost childlike. His whole nature seems to be driven by a vast and volcanic energy. This is why, like Roosevelt, he has been able to crowd the achievements of half a dozen careers into one. He is indeed the Happy Warrior.
Yet Lloyd George knows how to play. I have known him to work incessantly all day and follow the Ministerial game far into the night. Ten o’clock the next morning would find him on the golf links at Walton Heath fresh and full of vim and energy. At fifty-three he is at the very zenith of his strength.
Why has he succeeded? Simply because he was born to leadership. Without being profound he is profoundly moving: without studying life he is an unerring judge of men and moods. Volatile, masterful and above all human he is at once the most consistent and inconsistent of men.