Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


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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A man running after a hat is not half so ridiculous as a man running after a woman. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Gluttony is a great fault; but we do not necessarily dislike a glutton. We only dislike the glutton when he becomes a gourmet-that is, we only dislike him when he not only wants the best for himself, but knows what is best for other people. 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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For us who live in cities Nature is not natural. Nature is supernatural. Just as monks watched and strove to get a glimpse of heaven, so we watch and strive to get a glimpse of earth. It is as if men had cake and wine every day but were sometimes allowed common bread. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Somehow one can never manage to be an atheist. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The person who is really in revolt is the optimist, who generally lives and dies in a desperate and suicidal effort to persuade other people how good they are. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The modern world is a crowd of very rapid racing cars all brought to a standstill and stuck in a block of traffic. Gilbert K Chesterton
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War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is true that I am of an older fashion; much that I love has been destroyed or sent into exile. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I think the oddest thing about the advanced people is that, while they are always talking about things as problems, they have hardly any notion of what a real problem is. Gilbert K Chesterton
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By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men. Gilbert K Chesterton
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One of the chief uses of religion is that it makes us remember our coming from darkness, the simple fact that we are created. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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[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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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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Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Is there anyone... who will maintain that the Party System could have been created by people particularly fond of truth? Gilbert K Chesterton
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Very few reputations are gained by unsullied virtue. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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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It isn't that they can't see the solution. It's that they can't see the problem. They can't see the problem if they are looking in the wrong place. They can't see the problem if they have blinders on - for 'none are so blind as those that will not see'. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When a politician is in opposition he is an expert on the means to some end; and when he is in office he is an expert on the obstacles to it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Before the gods that made the gods Had seen their sunrise pass, The White Horse of the White Horse Vale Was cut out of the grass. Gilbert K Chesterton
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They shall come mild as monkish clerks, With many a scroll and pen; And backward shall ye turn and gaze, Desiring one of Alfred's days, When pagans still were men Gilbert K Chesterton
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Yet he is right enough about there being a white magic, if he only knows where to look for it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Creeds must disagree: it is the whole fun of the thing. If I think the universe is triangular, and you think it is square, there cannot be room for two universes. We may argue politely, we may argue humanely, we may argue with great mutual benefit: but, obviously, we must argue. Modern toleration is really a tyranny. It is a tyranny because it is a silence. To say that I must not deny my opponent's faith is to say I must not discuss it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The Nothing scrawled on a five-foot page. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Among the Very Rich you will never find a really generous man, even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egoistic, secretive, dry as old bones. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The old idea that the joke was not good enough for the company has been superseded by the new aristocratic idea that the company was not worthy of the joke. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I want to reassure you I am not this size, really - dear me no, I'm being amplified by the mike. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs.... Artists of a large and wholesome vitality get rid of their art easily, as they breathe easily or perspire easily. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The successful businessman sometimes makes money by ability and experience, but he generally makes it by mistake. Gilbert K Chesterton
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And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine, I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine'. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There's no such thing as fighting on the winning side; one fights to find out which is the winning side. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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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
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We actually love ourselves more than we love joy. 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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You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than any one else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes been objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists, as you can see from the barons' wars. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Whatever else we may say of our own age, for good or evil, nobody is likely to call it an Age of Reason. Gilbert K Chesterton
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