I think, for instance, of the towering and courageous Winston Churchill, admired in so many ways, including by me, but who had serious difficulty containing his ego which sometimes tarnished his otherwise remarkable contributions. One winces, even at this late date, as he reads Balfour’s rebuke, in 1905, of a pressing and eager young Churchill in Parliament. Just after Winston had been excessive, Balfour rose in dignity and said:
As for the junior member of Oldham . . . I think I may give him some advice which may be useful to him in the course of what I hope may be a long and distinguished career. It is not, on the whole, desirable to come down to this House with invective which is both prepared and violent. The House will tolerate, and very rightly tolerate, almost anything within the rule of order which evidently springs from genuine indignation aroused by the collision of debate. But to come down with these prepared phrases is not usually successful, and at all events, I do not think it was very successful on the present occasion. If there is preparation, there should be more finish, and if there is so much violence, there should certainly be more veracity of feeling. [Ted Morgan, Churchill: Young Man in a Hurry (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), p. 175.]
People just don’t talk like this anymore.