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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:24 am 
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Hi there from a newcommer!

Does anyone know the origins the following phrase attributed to George Orwell?

'Rough men walk in the night'.

I heard it on telivision the other night, and it intrigued me (I know not why).

Many thanks in anticipation,

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 8:40 am 
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There are a couple of versions of this:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" or "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us."

There is no evidence Orwell ever wrote this. It apparently is a misquotation according to Orwellian scholars. The nearest source is Orwell's essay on Rudyard Kipling (1942): "[Kipling] sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them.

Interestingly, a similar phrase is used in the movie A Few Good Men (1992) by Jack Nicholson's character defending his Marines' mission on Guantanamo. I wonder if the sreenwriters thought of Orwell's quote?


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