Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another. Gilbert K Chesterton

Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home; because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be a usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. Gilbert K Chesterton

There is only one thing that stands in our midst, attenuated and threatened, but enthroned in some power like a ghost of the Middle Ages: the Trade Unions. Gilbert K Chesterton

[Capitalism is] that commercial system in which supply immediately answers to demand, and in which everybody seems to be thoroughly dissatisfied and unable to get anything he wants. Gilbert K Chesterton

Our society is so abnormal that the normal man never dreams of having the normal occupation of looking after his own property. When he chooses a trade, he chooses one of the ten thousand trades that involve looking after other people's property. Gilbert K Chesterton

I do not know much about Mohammed or Mohammedanism. I do not take the Koran to bed with me every night. But, if I did on some one particular night, there is one sense at least in which I know what I should not find there. I apprehend that I should not find the work abounding in strong encouragements to the worship of idols; that the praises of polytheism would not be loudly sung; that the character of Mohammed would not be subjected to anything resembling hatred and derision; and that the great modern doctrine of the unimportance of religion would not be needlessly emphasised. Gilbert K Chesterton

To do Mohammed justice, his main attack was against the idolatries of Asia. Only he thought, just as the Arians did and just as the Unitarians do, that he could attack them better with a greater approximation to plain theism. What distinguishes his heresy from anything like an Arian or Albigensian heresy is that, as it sprang up on the borders of Christendom, it could spread outwards to a barbaric world. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is the first law of practical courage. To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school. Gilbert K Chesterton

There should be a burnished tablet let into the ground on the spot where some courageous man first ate Stilton cheese, and survived. Gilbert K Chesterton

Because our expression is imperfect we need friendship to fill up the imperfections. Gilbert K Chesterton

The eagle has no liberty; he only has loneliness. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is the decisive people who have become civilised; it is the indecisive, otherwise called the higher sceptics, or the idealistic doubters, who have remained barbarians. Gilbert K Chesterton

Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful. Gilbert K Chesterton

A large section of the intelligentsia seems wholly devoid of intelligence. Gilbert K Chesterton

Silence is the unbearable repartee. Gilbert K Chesterton

Why be something to everybody when you can be everything to somebody? Gilbert K Chesterton

The only words that ever satisfied me as describing nature are the terms used in fairy books, charm, spell, enchantment; they express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery. Gilbert K Chesterton

Do not, I beseech you be troubled by the increase of forces already in dissolution. You have mistake the hour of the night: it is already morning. Gilbert K Chesterton

Modern science is necessarily a double-edged tool, a tool that cuts both ways. ... There is no doubt that a Zeppelin is a wonderful thing; but that did not prevent it from becoming a horrible thing. Gilbert K Chesterton

When we look upon lives so human and yet so small, we feel as if we ourselves were enlarged to an embarrassing bigness of stature. We feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that a deity might feel if he had created something that he could not understand. Gilbert K Chesterton

Fairy tales are more than true ... Gilbert K Chesterton

Stick to the man who looks out of the window and tries to understand the world. Keep clear of the man who looks in at the window and tries to understand you. Gilbert K Chesterton

Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is: what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problems of the modern novel is: what will a madman do with a dull world? In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos. Gilbert K Chesterton

I will go forth as a real outlaw," he said, "and as men do robbery on the highway I will do right on the highway; and it will be counted a wilder crime. Gilbert K Chesterton

We do not admire, we hardly excuse, the fanatic who wrecks this world for love of the other. But what are we to say of the fanatic who wrecks this world out of hatred of the other? He sacrifices the very existence of humanity to the non-existence of God. He offers his victims not to the altar, but merely to assert the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon some one who never lived at all. Gilbert K Chesterton

That young man with the long, auburn hair and the impudent face - that young man was not really a poet; but surely he was a poem. Gilbert K Chesterton

In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic. Gilbert K Chesterton

Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are-of immeasurable stature. Gilbert K Chesterton

We ought to be interested in that darkest and most real part of a man in which dwell not the vices that he does not display, but the virtues that he cannot. Gilbert K Chesterton

Men spoke much in my boyhood about restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it's a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been. Gilbert K Chesterton

A sober man may become a drunkard through being a coward. A brave man may become a coward through being a drunkard. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is largely because the free-thinkers, as a school, have hardly made up their minds whether they want to be more optimist or more pessimist than Christianity that their small but sincere movement has failed. Gilbert K Chesterton

A fairly clear line separated advertisement from art. ... The first effect of the triumph of the capitalist (if we allow him to triumph) will be that that line of demarcation will entirely disappear. There will be no art that might not just as well be advertisement. Gilbert K Chesterton

One pleasure attached to growing older is that many things seem to be growing younger; growing fresher and more lively than we once supposed them to be. Gilbert K Chesterton

'As you have made your bed, so you must lie on it'; which again is simply a lie. If I have made my bed uncomfortable, please God I will make it again. Gilbert K Chesterton

Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, "Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe," or "Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet." They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complex picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. Gilbert K Chesterton

The poor complain that they are governed badly. The rich complain that they are governed at all. Gilbert K Chesterton

The issue is now clear. It is between light and darkness and everyone must choose his side. Gilbert K Chesterton

So far as a man may be proud of a religion rooted in humility, I am very proud of my religion; I am especially proud of those parts of it that are most commonly called superstition. I am proud of being fettered by antiquated dogmas and enslaved by dead creeds (as my journalistic friends repeat with so much pertinacity), for I know very well that it is the heretical creeds that are dead, and that it is only the reasonable dogma that lives long enough to be called antiquated. Gilbert K Chesterton

To be simple is the best thing in the world; to be modest is the next best thing. I am not sure about being quiet. Gilbert K Chesterton

The one perfectly divine thing, the one glimpse of God's paradise given on earth, is to fight a losing battle - and not lose it. Gilbert K Chesterton

Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Gilbert K Chesterton

If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep. Gilbert K Chesterton

The materialist theory of history, that all politics and ethics are the expression of economics, is a very simple fallacy indeed. It consists simply of confusing the necessary conditions of life with the normal preoccupations of life, that are quite a different thing. It is like saying that because a man can only walk about on two legs, therefore he never walks about except to buy shoes and stockings. Gilbert K Chesterton

Every heresy has been an effort to narrow the Church. Gilbert K Chesterton

All literary style, especially national style, is made up of such coincidences, which are a spiritual sort of puns. That is why style is untranslatable.... Gilbert K Chesterton

Aristocracy: government by the badly educated. Gilbert K Chesterton

Tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything. Gilbert K Chesterton

I've been to every park in every city and not seen a statue to a committee. Gilbert K Chesterton

Atheism is too theological. Gilbert K Chesterton

A man cannot deserve adventures; he cannot earn dragons and hippogriffs. Gilbert K Chesterton

The modern habit of saying "This is my opinion, but I may be wrong" is entirely irrational. If I say that it may be wrong, I say that is not my opinion. The modern habit of saying "Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me" - the habit of saying this is mere weak-mindedness. A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon. Gilbert K Chesterton

The old restriction meant that only the orthodox were allowed to discuss religion. Modern liberty means that nobody is allowed to discuss it. Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions, has succeeded in silencing us where all the rest have failed. Gilbert K Chesterton

White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. Gilbert K Chesterton

Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them. Gilbert K Chesterton

Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out. Gilbert K Chesterton

Do not enjoy yourself. Enjoy dances and theaters and joy-rides and champagne and oysters; enjoy jazz and cocktails and night-clubs if you can enjoy nothing better; enjoy bigamy and burglary and any crime in the calendar, in preference to the other alternative; but never learn to enjoy yourself. Gilbert K Chesterton

Oh, most unhappy man,' he cried, 'try to be happy! You have red hair like your sister.' My red hair, like red flames, shall burn up the world,' said Gregory. Gilbert K Chesterton

He had found the thing which the modern people call Impressionism, which is another name for that final scepticism which can find no floor to the universe. Gilbert K Chesterton

Jesus promised his disciples three things-that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble. Gilbert K Chesterton

A mystic is a man who separates heaven and earth even if he enjoys them both. Gilbert K Chesterton

Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline. Gilbert K Chesterton

But a somewhat more liberal and sympathetic examination of mankind will convince us that the cross is even older than the gibbet, that voluntary suffering was before and independent of compulsory; and in short that in most important matters a man has always been free to ruin himself if he chose. Gilbert K Chesterton

Even a bad shot is dignified when he accepts a duel. Gilbert K Chesterton

Literature and fiction are two entirely different things. Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity. Gilbert K Chesterton

There is only one thing that it requires real courage to say, and that is a truism. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is very foolish of a man to be frightened of a skeleton, for Nature has put an insurmountable obstacle against running away from it. Gilbert K Chesterton

Architecture approaches nearer than any other art to being irrevocable because it is so difficult to get rid of. Gilbert K Chesterton

Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless. Gilbert K Chesterton

Our civilization has decided that determining the guilt or innocence of men is a thing too important to be trusted to trained men. When it wants a library catalogued, or the solar system discovered, or any trifle of that kind, it uses up its specialists. But when it wishes anything done which is really serious, it collects twelve of the ordinary men standing round. The same thing was done, if I remember right, by the Founder of Christianity. Gilbert K Chesterton



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