Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


The modern world is filled with men who hold dogmas so strongly that they do not even know that they are dogmas. It may be said even that the modern world, as a corporate body, holds certain dogmas so strongly that it does not know that they are dogmas. Gilbert K Chesterton

One of his hobbies was to wait for the American Shakespeare - a hobby more patient than angling. Gilbert K Chesterton

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

He did not know the way things were going: he was too Victorian to understand the Victorian epoch. He did not know enough ignorant people to have heard the news. Gilbert K Chesterton

And they that rule in England, In stately conclave met, Alas, alas for England They have no graves as yet. Gilbert K Chesterton

You shouldn't take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up. Gilbert K Chesterton

It seems a pity that psychology should have destroyed all our knowledge of human nature. Gilbert K Chesterton

You!" he cried. "You never hated because you never lived. I know what you are all of you, from first to last-you are the people in power! You are the police-the great, fat smiling men in blue and buttons! You are the Law, and you have never been broken. But is there a free soul alive that does not long to break you, only because you have never been broken? Gilbert K Chesterton

There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. Gilbert K Chesterton

We are to regard existence as a raid or great adventure; it is to be judged, therefore, not by what calamities it encounters, but by what flag it follows and what high town it assaults. The most dangerous thing in the world is to be alive; one is always in danger of one's life. But anyone who shrinks from that is a traitor to the great scheme and experiment of being. Gilbert K Chesterton

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean. Gilbert K Chesterton

To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once. Gilbert K Chesterton

But I was frightfully fond of the universe and wanted to address it by a diminutive. I often did so; and it never seemed to mind. Gilbert K Chesterton

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. Gilbert K Chesterton

Men always talk about the most important things to perfect strangers. In the perfect stranger we perceive man himself; the image of a God is not disguised by resemblances to an uncle or doubts of wisdom of a mustache. Gilbert K Chesterton

It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. Gilbert K Chesterton

The supreme adventure is being born. There we do walk suddenly into a splendid and startling trap... When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale. Gilbert K Chesterton

In anything that does cover the whole of your life - in your philosophy and your religion - you must have mirth. If you do not have mirth you will certainly have madness. Gilbert K Chesterton

What is the good of words if they aren't important enough to quarrel over? Why do we choose one word more than another if there isn't any difference between them? If you called a woman a chimpanzee instead of an angel, wouldn't there be a quarrel about a word? If you're not going to argue about words, what are you going to argue about? Are you going to convey your meaning to me by moving your ears? The Church and the heresies always used to fight about words, because they are the only thing worth fighting about. Gilbert K Chesterton

We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man's terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong. Gilbert K Chesterton

The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad. Gilbert K Chesterton

Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. Gilbert K Chesterton

They hate kings, they hate priests, they hate soldiers, they hate sailors. They distrust men of science, they denounce the middle classes, they despair of working men, but they adore humanity. Only they always speak of humanity as if it were a curious foreign nation. They are dividing themselves more and more from men to exalt the strange race of mankind. They are ceasing to be human in the effort to be humane. Gilbert K Chesterton

Thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste. Gilbert K Chesterton

Science boasts of the distance of its stars; of the terrific remoteness of the things of which it has to speak. But poetry and religion always insist upon the proximity, the almost menacing closeness of the things with which they are concerned. Always the Kingdom of Heaven is "At Hand." Gilbert K Chesterton

It is very good for a man to talk about what he does not understand; as long as he understands that he does not understand it. Gilbert K Chesterton

The diseased pride [of artistic individualists] was not even conscious of a public interest, and would have found all political terms utterly tasteless and insignificant. It was no longer a question of one man one vote, but of one man one universe. Gilbert K Chesterton

Romance is the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure. Gilbert K Chesterton

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. Gilbert K Chesterton

The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense. Gilbert K Chesterton

How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win. Gilbert K Chesterton

There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong. Gilbert K Chesterton

The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land. Gilbert K Chesterton

The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before. Gilbert K Chesterton

There is but an inch of difference between a cushioned chamber and a padded cell. Gilbert K Chesterton

Women prefer to talk in twos, while men prefer to talk in threes. Gilbert K Chesterton

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried. Gilbert K Chesterton

Half a truth is better than no politics. Gilbert K Chesterton

Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past. Gilbert K Chesterton

They say travel broadens the mind, but you must have the mind. Gilbert K Chesterton

Progress is Providence without God. That is, it is a theory that everything has always perpetually gone right by accident. It is a sort of atheistic optimism, based on an everlasting coincidence far more miraculous than a miracle. Gilbert K Chesterton

A change of opinions is almost unknown in an elderly military man. Gilbert K Chesterton

When giving treats to friends or children, give them what they like, emphatically not what is good for them. Gilbert K Chesterton

Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative. Gilbert K Chesterton

For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers. Gilbert K Chesterton

There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is a good sign in a nation when things are done badly. It shows that all the people are doing them. And it is bad sign in a nation when such things are done very well, for it shows that only a few experts and eccentrics are doing them, and that the nation is merely looking on. Gilbert K Chesterton

There have been household gods and household saints and household fairies. I am not sure that there have yet been any factory gods or factory saints or factory fairies. I may be wrong, as I am no commericial expert, but I have not heard of them as yet. Gilbert K Chesterton

A good man's work is effected by doing what he does, a woman's by being what she is. Gilbert K Chesterton

What life and death may be to a turkey is not my business; but the soul of Scrooge and the body of Cratchit are my business. Gilbert K Chesterton

The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings. Gilbert K Chesterton

The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice. Gilbert K Chesterton

All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead; but the darker secret of why he is alive. Gilbert K Chesterton

Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else. Gilbert K Chesterton

Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business. Gilbert K Chesterton

A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter. Gilbert K Chesterton

Making the landlord and the tenant the same person has certain advantages, as that the tenant pays no rent, while the landlord does a little work. Gilbert K Chesterton

The aim of good prose words is to mean what they say. The aim of good poetical words is to mean what they do not say. Gilbert K Chesterton

. . . For friendship implies individuality; whereas comradeship really implies the temporary subordination, if not the temporary swamping of individuality. Friends are the better for being two; but comrades are the better for being two million. Gilbert K Chesterton

The sceptic ultimately undermines democracy (1) because he can see no significance in death and such things of a literal equality; (2) because he introduces different first principles, making debate impossible: and debate is the life of democracy; (3) because the fading of the images of sacred persons leaves a man too prone to be a respecter of earthly persons; (4) because there will be more, not less, respect for human rights if they can be treated as divine rights. Gilbert K Chesterton

The average businessman began to be agnostic, not so much because he did not know where he was, as because he wanted to forget. Many of the rich took to scepticism exactly as the poor took to drink; because it was a way out. Gilbert K Chesterton

Where does a wise man kick a pebble? On the beach. Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. Gilbert K Chesterton

Science only means knowledge; and for [Greek] ancients it did only mean knowledge. Thus the favorite science of the Greeks was Astronomy, because it was as abstract as Algebra. ... We may say that the great Greek ideal was to have no use for useful things. The Slave was he who learned useful things; the Freeman was he who learned useless things. This still remains the ideal of many noble men of science, in the sense they do desire truth as the great Greeks desired it; and their attitude is an external protest against vulgarity of utilitarianism. Gilbert K Chesterton

Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it, or you will be like the grey-faced gin-drinker in the slum; but drink when you would be happy without it, and you will be like the laughing peasant of Italy. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world. Gilbert K Chesterton

There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, 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

The coming peril is the intellectual, educational, psychological and artistic overproduction, which, equally with economic overproduction, threatens the well-being of contemporary civilisation. People are inundated, blinded, deafened, and mentally paralysed by a flood of vulgar and tasteless externals, leaving them no time for leisure, thought, or creation from within themselves. Gilbert K Chesterton

Christian Science ... is the direct denial both of science and of Christianity, for Science rests wholly on the recognition of truth and Christianity on the recognition of pain. Gilbert K Chesterton

It is the friction of two spiritual things, of tradition and invention, or of substance and symbol, from which the mind takes fire. The creeds condemned as complex have something like the secret of sex; they can breed thoughts. Gilbert K Chesterton

The trouble with Christianity is, not that its failed, but that it's never been tried . . . not that it can't remake the world, but that it's difficult. Gilbert K Chesterton



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