Raleigh Quotes in Journey’s End
OSBORNE: You may find he’s—he’s a little bit quick-tempered.
RALEIGH [laughing]: Oh, I know old Dennis’s temper! I remember once at school he caught some chaps in a study with a bottle of whisky. Lord! the roof nearly blew off. He gave them a dozen each with a cricket stump.
He was so keen on the fellows in the house keeping fit. He was frightfully down on smoking—and that sort of thing.
OSBORNE: You must remember he’s commanded this company for a long time—through all sorts of rotten times. It’s—it’s a big strain on a man. […] If you notice a—difference in Stanhope—you’ll know it’s only the strain—
RALEIGH: It’s—it’s not exactly what I thought. It’s just this—this quiet that seems so funny.
OSBORNE: A hundred yards from here the Germans are sitting in their dugouts, thinking how quiet it is.
RALEIGH: Are they as near as that?
OSBORNE: About a hundred yards.
RALEIGH: It seems—uncanny. It makes me feel we’re—we’re all just waiting for something.
OSBORNE: We are, generally, just waiting for something. When anything happens, it happens quickly. Then we just start waiting again.
OSBORNE: I believe Raleigh’ll go on liking you—and looking up to you—through everything. There’s something very deep, and rather fine, about hero-worship.
STANHOPE: Hero-worship be damned! [He pauses, then goes on, in a strange, high-pitched voice] You know, Uncle, I’m an awful fool. I’m captain of this company. What’s that bloody little prig of a boy matter? D’you see? He’s a little prig. Wants to write home and tell Madge all about me. Well, he won’t; d’you see, Uncle? He won’t write! Censorship! I censor his letters—cross out all he says about me.
OSBORNE: You can’t read his letters.
STANHOPE [dreamily]: Cross out all he says about me. Then we all go west in the big attack—and she goes on thinking I’m a fine fellow for ever—and ever—and ever. [He pours out a drink, murmuring ‘Ever—and ever—and ever.’]
OSBORNE: I remember up at Wipers we had a man shot when he was out on patrol. Just at dawn. We couldn’t get him in that night. He lay out there groaning all day. Next night three of our men crawled out to get him in. It was so near the German trenches that they could have shot our fellows one by one. But, when our men began dragging the wounded man back over the rough ground, a big German officer stood up in their trenches and called out. ‘Carry him!’—and our fellows stood up and carried the man back and the German officer fired some lights for them to see by.
RALEIGH: How topping!
OSBORNE: Next day we blew each other’s trenches to blazes.
RALEIGH: It all seems rather—silly, doesn’t it?
I was feeling bad. I forgot Raleigh was out there with Trotter. I’d forgotten all about him. I was sleepy. I just knew something beastly had happened. Then he came in with Trotter—and looked at me. After coming in out of the night air, this place must have reeked of candle-grease, and rats—and whisky. One thing a boy like that can’t stand is a smell that isn’t fresh. He looked at me as if I’d hit him between the eyes—as if I’d spat on him—
If you went—and left Osborne and Trotter and Raleigh and all those men up there to do your work—could you ever look a man straight in the face again—in all your life! [There is silence again.] You may be wounded. Then you can go home and feel proud—and if you’re killed you—you won’t have to stand this hell any more. I might have fired just now. If I had you would have been dead now. But you’re still alive—with a straight fighting chance of coming through. Take the chance, old chap, and stand in with Osborne and Trotter and Raleigh. Don’t you think it worth standing in with men like that?—when you know they all feel like you do—in their hearts—and just go on sticking it because they know it’s—it’s the only thing a decent man can do.
RALEIGH: Good God! Don’t you understand? How can I sit down and eat that—when—[his voice is nearly breaking]—when Osborne’s—lying—out there—
[STANHOPE rises slowly. His eyes are wide and staring; he is fighting for breath, and his words come brokenly.]
STANHOPE: My God! You bloody little swine! You think I don’t care—you think you’re the only soul that cares!
RALEIGH: And yet you can sit there and drink champagne—and smoke cigars—
STANHOPE: The one man I could trust—my best friend—the one man I could talk to as man to man—who understood everything—and you don’t think I care—
RALEIGH: But how can you when—?
STANHOPE: To forget, you little fool—to forget! D’you understand? To forget! You think there’s no limit to what a man can bear?