Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


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
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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At the back of our brains is a blaze of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life is to dig for this sunrise of wonder. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The wine they drink in Paradise They make in Haute Lorraine. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Americans are a very backward people, with all the real virtues of a backward people; the patriarchal simplicity and human dignity of a democracy, and a respect for labor uncorrupted by cynicism. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all. And faith means believing the incredible, or it is no virtue at all. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A man will not roll in the snow for a stream of tendency by which all things fulfill the law of their being. He will not go without food in the name of something, not ourselves, that makes for righteousness. He will do things like this, or pretty nearly like this, under quite a different impulse. He will do these things when he is in love. 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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Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things. 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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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