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
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You can't have the family farm without the family. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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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
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No sceptical philosopher can ask any questions that may not equally be asked by a tired child on a hot afternoon. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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Man is at his tallest when he bows. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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The sincere love of books has nothing to do with cleverness or stupidity any more than any other sincere love. It is a quality of character, a freshness, a power of pleasure, a power of faith. A silly person may delight in reading masterpieces just as a silly person may delight in picking flowers. A fool may be in love with a poet as he may be in love with a woman. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The new community which the capitalists are now constructing will be a very complete and absolute community; and one which will tolerate nothing really independent of itself. Gilbert K Chesterton
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But there is in everything a reasonable division of labour. I have written the book, and nothing on earth would induce me to read it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else. Gilbert K Chesterton
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With every step of our lives we enter into the middle of some story which we are certain to misunderstand. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce variety and uncompromising divergences of men...In a large community, we can choose our companions. In a small community, our companions are chosen for us. Thus in all extensive and highly civilized society groups come into existence founded upon sympathy, and shut out the real world more sharply than the gates of a monastery. There is nothing really narrow about the clan; the thing which is really narrow is the clique. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If you happen to read fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other-the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If a man called Christmas Day a mere hypocritical excuse for drunkenness and gluttony, that would be false, but it would have a fact hidden in it somewhere. But when Bernard Shaw says the Christmas Day is only a conspiracy kept up by poulterers and wine merchants from strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startling and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewellers who wanted to sell wedding rings. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or no it is permanent, it claims permanence, like a dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are two kinds of peacemakers in the modern world; and they are both, though in various ways, a nuisance. The first peacemaker is the man who goes about saying that he agrees with everybody. He confuses everybody. The second peacemaker is the man who goes about saying that everybody agrees with him. He enrages everybody. Between the two of them they produce a hundred times more disputes and distractions than we poor pugnacious people would ever have thought of in our lives. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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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
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The most poetical thing in the world is not being sick. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Think of all those ages through which men have had the courage to die, and then remember that we have actually fallen to talking about having the courage to live. Gilbert K Chesterton
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People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason... Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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Faith is always at a disadvantage; it is a perpetually defeated thing which survives all conquerors. Gilbert K Chesterton
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One elephant having a trunk was odd; but all elephants having trunks looked like a plot. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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In a world where everything is ridiculous, nothing can be ridiculed. You cannot unmask a mask. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. Gilbert K Chesterton
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All men matter. You matter. I matter. It's the hardest thing in theology to believe. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Idolatry is when you worship what you should use, and use what you should worship. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Though I believe in liberalism, I find it difficult to believe in liberals. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Leisure is being allowed to do nothing. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Political Economy means that everybody except politicians must be economical. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The only people who seem to have nothing to do with the education of the children are the parents. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kind of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I don't deny," he said, "that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say that at certain strange epochs it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet. Gilbert K Chesterton
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One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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Thinking in isolation and with pride ends in being an idiot. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground. Gilbert K Chesterton
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One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak. Gilbert K Chesterton
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White... is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black... God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. Gilbert K Chesterton
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And my haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe's ship-even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We are passing into a social phase in which unless a heroic effort is made for human dignity and freedom, gold will be the sole method of government and therefore the sole standard of manners. Gilbert K Chesterton
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He has come to the most dreadful conclusion a literary man can come to, the conclusion that the ordinary view is the right one. It is only the last and wildest kind of courage that can stand on a tower before ten thousand people and tell them that twice two is four. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The more truly we can see life as a fairytale, the more clearly the tale resolves itself into war with the dragon who is wasting fairyland. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The difficulty of explaining "why I am a Catholic" is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Ingratitude is surely the chief of the intellectual sins of man. He takes his political benefits for granted, just as he takes the skies and the seasons for granted. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Feminists are those who cannot stand female characteristics. Gilbert K Chesterton
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