"Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies. But it has been in vain. We have been forced into a conflict. For we are called ... to meet the challenge of a principle which ... permits a state, in the selfish pursuit of power, to disregard its treaties and its solemn pledges ... . Such a principle, stripped of all its disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right."所謂莊嚴承諾，是隨時都可以反臉不認人的。那些野蠻人，無論披上幾多文明的外衣，骨子裏信奉的，始終都是「強權就是公理」。
佐治六世的演說內容，相信不少讀者已經從電影 The King's Speech 之中聽過。我剛剛讀由 Mark Logue（當年為佐治六世治療口吃的 Lionel Logue 之孫） 與 Peter Conradi 合著同名書本，發現此演說原來有兩個有趣的細節。首先，即使是如此重要的講稿，原來也有錯漏。原稿中 'threat' 一詞打漏了字母 'h'，變成 'treat'，不過 Lionel Logue 於講稿中為國王記低應該停頓的地方時，已留意到並更正此錯處。
其次，原來 Logue 臨時改變了講稿中幾處用字（見附錄有間線的地方），將 'my government' 改成 'ourselves'，於某處將 'it' 改成 'this principle'，以及將 'summon' 改成 'call'。據書中所述，Logue 認為 'my government' 與 'summon' 比較難唸，故而更改。然而書中並無解釋何以 'it' 一個單音節的字，反而變為 'this principle' 這組有四個音節的詞語。我覺得，Logue 這樣一改，演辭實在比之前更明白，可是照道理，如此重要的演辭，必須經過政府同意，方能更改。看來 Lionel Logue 此人要不是當機立斷，膽識過人，就是當年的英國政府，並無強國的「人民喉舌」那麼僵化。
In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken as I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.
For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies. But it has been in vain. We have been forced into a conflict. For we are called, with our allies, to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilised order in the world.
It is the principle which permits a state, in the selfish pursuit of power, to disregard its treaties and its solemn pledges; which sanctions the use of force, or threat of force, against the sovereignty and independence of other states.
Such a principle, stripped of all its disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right; and if this principle were established throughout the world, the freedom of our own country and of the whole of the British Commonwealth of Nations would be in danger. But far more than this - the peoples of the world would be kept in the bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of security of justice and liberty among nations would be ended.
This is the ultimate issue which confronts us. For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge.
It is to this high purpose that I now call my people at home and my peoples across the seas, who will make our cause their own. I ask them to stand calm, firm and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead, and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right, and reverently commit our cause to God. If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, ready for whatever service or sacrifice it may demand, then, with God's help, we shall prevail. May He bless us and keep us all.