STEPHEN: I am sorry, sir, that you force me to forget the respect due to you as my father. I am an Englishman; and I will not hear the government of my country insulted.
UNDERSHAFT [a munitions maker]: The government of your country! I am the government of your country. I and Lazarus. Do you suppose that you and half a dozen amateurs like you, sitting in a row in that foolish gabble shop, can govern Undershaft and Lazarus?
No, my friend: you will do what pays us. You will make war when it suits us, and keep peace when it doesn't. You will find out that trade requires certain measures when we have decided on those measures.
When I want anything to keep my dividends up, you will discover that my want is a national need. When other people want something to keep my dividends down, you will call out the police and military.
And in return you shall have the support and applause of my newspapers, and the delight of imagining that you are a great statesman.
Government of your country! Be off with you, my boy, and play with your caucuses and leading articles and historic parties and great leaders and burning questions and the rest of your toys. I am going back to my counting house to pay the piper and call the tune.
Major Barbara. A play by Oscar Wilde. Premiered in 1905.