Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


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
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Political Economy means that everybody except politicians must be economical. 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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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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At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper. . . . 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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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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Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it - because it is a fact. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The thing that cannot be defined is the first thing; the primary fact. 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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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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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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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 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
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If a man only likes victory he must always come late for the battle. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I am a bad reporter because everything seems to me worth reporting; and a bad reviewer because every sentence in every book suggests a separate essay. 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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Education is implication. It is not the things you say which children respect; when you say things, they very commonly laugh and do the opposite. It is the things you assume which really sink into them. It is the things you forget even to teach that they learn. 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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...a figure of speech can often get into a crack too small for a definition. 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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