Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is an absolutely unlimited number of inspired officials and an absolutely unlimited amount of money to pay them. Gilbert K Chesterton

You can't have the family farm without the family. Gilbert K Chesterton

A good Moslem king was one who was strict in religion, valiant in battle, just in giving judgment among his people, but not one who had the slightest objection in international matters to removing his neighbour's landmark. Gilbert K Chesterton

Every sane man recognises that unlimited liberty is anarchy, or rather is nonentity. The civic idea of liberty is to give the citizen a province of liberty; a limitation within which a citizen is a king. Gilbert K Chesterton

Without authority there is no liberty. Freedom is doomed to destruction at every turn, unless there is a recognized right to freedom. And if there are rights, there is an authority to which we appeal for them. Gilbert K Chesterton

Pride consists in a man making his personality the only test, instead of making truth the test. The sceptic feels himself too large to measure life by the largest things; and ends by measuring it by the smallest thing of all. Gilbert K Chesterton

No sceptical philosopher can ask any questions that may not equally be asked by a tired child on a hot afternoon. Gilbert K Chesterton

Dipsomaniac and the abstainer are not only both mistaken, but they both make the same mistake. They both regard wine as a drug and not as a drink. Gilbert K Chesterton

Man is at his tallest when he bows. Gilbert K Chesterton

Men reform a thing by removing the reality from it, and then do not know what to do with the unreality that is left. Gilbert K Chesterton

The past is democratic, because it is a people. The future is despotic, because it is a caprice. Every man is alone in his prediction, just as each man is alone in a dream. Gilbert K Chesterton

Modern masters of science are much impressed with the need of beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite equally impressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin-a fact as practical as potatoes. Whether or not man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. Gilbert K Chesterton

Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false. Gilbert K Chesterton

I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and that the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself. Gilbert K Chesterton

The most poetical thing in the world is not being sick. Gilbert K Chesterton

Journalism only tells us what men are doing; it is fiction that tells us what they are thinking, and still more what they are feeling. If a new scientific theory finds the soul of a man in his dreams, at least it ought not to leave out his day-dreams. And all fiction is only a diary of day-dreams instead of days. And this profound preoccupation of men's minds with certain things always eventually has an effect even on the external expression of the age. Gilbert K Chesterton

The oligarchic character of the modern English commonwealth does not rest, like many oligarchies, on the cruelty of the rich to the poor. It does not even rest on the kindness of the rich to the poor. It rests on the perennial and unfailing kindness of the poor to the rich. Gilbert K Chesterton

A modern man may disapprove of some of his sweeping reforms, and approve others; but finds it difficult not to admire even where he does not approve. Gilbert K Chesterton

If you know what a man's doing, get in front of him; but if you want to guess what he's doing keep behind him. Gilbert K Chesterton

I tell you naught for your comfort, Yea, naught for your desire, Save that the sky grows darker yet And the sea rises higher. Gilbert K Chesterton

Literary men are being employed to praise a big business man personally, as men used to praise a king. They not only find political reasons for the commercial schemes that they have done for some time past they also find moral defences for the commercial schemers. ... I do resent the whole age of patronage being revived under such absurd patrons; and all poets becoming court poets, under kings that have taken no oath. Gilbert K Chesterton

Is there anyone... who will maintain that the Party System could have been created by people particularly fond of truth? Gilbert K Chesterton

Very few reputations are gained by unsullied virtue. Gilbert K Chesterton

We are always giving foreign names to very native things. If there is a thing that reeks of the glorious tradition of the old English tavern, it is toasted cheese. But for some wild reason we call it Welsh rarebit. I believe that what we call Irish stew might more properly be called English stew, and that it is not particularly familiar in Ireland. Gilbert K Chesterton

Architecture is the alphabet of giants; it is the largest set of symbols ever made to meet the eyes of men. A tower stands up like a sort of simplified stature, of much more than heroic size. Gilbert K Chesterton

The only people who seem to have nothing to do with the education of the children are the parents. Gilbert K Chesterton

If our caricaturists do not hate their enemies, it is not because they are too big to hate them, but because their enemies are not big enough to hate. Gilbert K Chesterton

Being "contented" ought to mean in English, as it does in French, being pleased. Being content with an attic ought not to mean being unable to move from it and resigned to living in it; it ought to mean appreciating all there is in such a position. Gilbert K Chesterton

Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kind of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty. Gilbert K Chesterton

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. Gilbert K Chesterton

Nothing can ever overcome that one enormous sex (female) superiority that even the male child is born closer to his mother than to his father. Gilbert K Chesterton

I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree. When we look upon lives so human and yet so small, we feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that [God] might feel. Gilbert K Chesterton

The modern mind will accept nothing on authority, but will accept anything on no authority. Say that the Bible or the Pope says so and it will be dismissed without further examination. But preface your remark with "I think I heard somewhere," or, try but fail to remember the name of some professor who might have said "such-and-such," and it will be immediately accepted as an unshakable fact. Gilbert K Chesterton

Romance is the deepest thing in life. It is deeper than reality. Gilbert K Chesterton

A Catholic is a person who has plucked up courage to face the incredible and inconceivable idea that something else may be wiser than he is. Gilbert K Chesterton

And it did for one wild moment cross my mind that, perhaps, those might not be the very best judges of the relation of religion to happiness who, by their own account, had neither one nor the other. Gilbert K Chesterton

We actually love ourselves more than we love joy. Gilbert K Chesterton

O God of earth and altar, Bow down and hear our cry, Our earthly rulers falter, Our people drift and die; The walls of gold entomb us, The swords of scorn divide, Take not thy thunder from us, But take away our pride. Gilbert K Chesterton

Virtue is not the absence of vices or the avoidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate ting, like pain or a particular smell. Gilbert K Chesterton

For the mass of men the idea of artistic creation can only be expressed by an idea unpopular in present discussions - the idea of property... Property is merely the art of the democracy... One would think, to hear people talk, that the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers were on the side of property. But obviously they are the enemies of property; because they are enemies of their own limitations. Gilbert K Chesterton

Thinking in isolation and with pride ends in being an idiot. Gilbert K Chesterton

Daybreak is a never-ending glory; getting out of bed is a never ending nuisance. Gilbert K Chesterton

There is the great lesson of 'Beauty and the Beast,' that a thing must be loved before it is lovable. Gilbert K Chesterton

The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man. Gilbert K Chesterton

As an explanation of the world materialism has a sort of insane simplicity. It has the quality of a madman's arguments; we have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out. Gilbert K Chesterton

The historic glory of America lies in the fact that it is the one nation that was founded like a church. That is, it was founded on a faith that was not merely summed up after it had exited, but was defined before it existed. Gilbert K Chesterton

The Frenchman works until he can play. The American works until he can't play; and then thanks the devil, his master, that he is donkey enough to die in harness. But the Englishman, as he has since become, works until he can pretend that he never worked at all. Gilbert K Chesterton

The whole point of the Eugenic pseudo-scientific theories is that they are to be applied wholesale, by some more sweeping and generalizing money power than the individual husband or wife or household. Eugenics asserts that all men must be so stupid that they cannot manage their own affairs; and also so clever that they can manage each other's. Gilbert K Chesterton

Americans have a taste for...rocking-chairs. A flippant critic might suggest that they select rocking-chairs so that, even when they are sitting down, they need not be sitting still. Something of this restlessness in the race may really be involved in the matter; but I think the deeper significance of the rocking-chair may still be found in the deeper symbolism of the rocking-horse. I think there is behind all this fresh and facile use of wood a certain spirit that is childish in the good sense of the word; something that is innocent, and easily pleased. Gilbert K Chesterton

Political Economy means that everybody except politicians must be economical. Gilbert K Chesterton

Every one on this earth should believe, amid whatever madness or moral failure, that his life and temperament have some object on the earth. Every one on the earth should believe that he has something to give to the world which cannot otherwise be given. Gilbert K Chesterton

Faith is always at a disadvantage; it is a perpetually defeated thing which survives all conquerors. Gilbert K Chesterton

One elephant having a trunk was odd; but all elephants having trunks looked like a plot. Gilbert K Chesterton

The primary paradox of Christianity is that the ordinary condition of man is not his sane or sensible condition; that the normal itself is an abnormality. Gilbert K Chesterton

In a world where everything is ridiculous, nothing can be ridiculed. You cannot unmask a mask. Gilbert K Chesterton

Some of the most frantic lies on the face of life are told with modesty and restraint; for the simple reason that only modesty and restraint will save them. Gilbert K Chesterton

Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. Gilbert K Chesterton

All men matter. You matter. I matter. It's the hardest thing in theology to believe. Gilbert K Chesterton

Idolatry is when you worship what you should use, and use what you should worship. Gilbert K Chesterton

Though I believe in liberalism, I find it difficult to believe in liberals. Gilbert K Chesterton

We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them. Gilbert K Chesterton

Leisure is being allowed to do nothing. Gilbert K Chesterton

Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains. Gilbert K Chesterton

If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse Gilbert K Chesterton

Mr. McCabe thinks that I am not serious but only funny, because Mr. McCabe thinks that funny is the opposite of serious. Funny is the opposite of not funny and nothing else. Gilbert K Chesterton

Boyhood is a most complex and incomprehensible thing. Even when one has been through it, one does not understand what it was. A man can never quite understand a boy, even when he has been the boy. Gilbert K Chesterton

The artistic temperament is a disease that affects amateurs. Artists of a large and wholesome vitality get rid of their art easily, as they breathe easily or perspire easily. But in artists of less force, the thing becomes a pressure, and produces a definite pain, which is called the artistic temperament. Gilbert K Chesterton

But there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green. Gilbert K Chesterton

This is the perpetual and pitiful tragedy of the practical man in practical affairs. He always begins with a flourish of contempt for what he calls theorizing and what people who can do it call thinking. He will not wait for logic-that is, in the most exact sense, he will not listen to reason. It will therefore appear to him an idle and ineffectual proceeding to say that there is a reason for his present failure. Nevertheless, it may be well to say it, and to try and make it clear even to him. Gilbert K Chesterton

Even in a minute instance, it is best to look first to the main tendencies of Nature. A particular flower may not be dead in early winter, but the flowers are dying; a particular pebble may never be wetted with the tide, but the tide is coming in. To the scientific eye all human history is a series of collective movements, destructions or migrations, like the massacre of flies in winter or the return of birds in spring. Gilbert K Chesterton



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