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
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One of his hobbies was to wait for the American Shakespeare - a hobby more patient than angling. 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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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
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Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours? Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are two kinds of charlatan: the man who is called a charlatan, and the man who really is one. The first is the quack who cures you; the second is the highly qualified person who doesn't. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are two kinds of rebellion. The first is one in which the slave demands something that the tyrant has got. The second is one in which he demands something that the tyrant has not got. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When people impute special vices to the Christian Church, they seem entirely to forget that the world (which is the only other thing there is) has these vices much more. The Church has been cruel; but the world has been much more cruel. The Church has plotted; but the world has plotted much more. The Church has been superstitious; but it has never been so superstitious as the world is when left to itself. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare tomorrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The most valuable book we can read, about countries we have visited, is that which recalls to us something that we did notice, but did not notice that we noticed. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all... As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength. Gilbert K Chesterton
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What a glorious garden of wonders the lights of Broadway would be to anyone lucky enough to be unable to read. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If a rhinoceros were to enter this restaurant now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I should be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth Gilbert K Chesterton
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Courage is getting away from death by continually coming within an inch of it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are many definite methods, honest and dishonest, which make people rich; the only instinct I know of which does it is that instinct which theological Christianity crudely describes as the sin of avarice. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are arguments for atheism, and they do not depend, and never did depend, upon science. They are arguable enough, as far as they go, upon a general survey of life; only it happens to be a superficial survey of life. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Aesthetes never do anything but what they are told. Gilbert K Chesterton
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My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I still hold. . .that the suburbs ought to be either glorified by romance and religion or else destroyed by fire from heaven, or even by firebrands from the earth. Gilbert K Chesterton
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America is the only country ever founded on a creed. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is the mark of our whole modern history that the masses are kept quiet with a fight. They are kept quiet by the fight because it is a sham-fight; thus most of us know by this time that the Party System has been popular only in the sense that a football match is popular. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The world will very soon be divided, unless I am mistaken, into those who still go on explaining our success, and those somewhat more intelligent who are trying to explain our failure. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are some desires that are not desirable. Gilbert K Chesterton
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From the standpoint of any sane person, the present problem of capitalist concentration is not only a question of law, but of criminal law, not to mention criminal lunacy. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A man making the confession of any creed worth ten minutes' intelligent talk, is always a man who gains something and gives up something. So long as he does both he can create; for he is making an outline and a shape. Mohamet created, when he forbade wine but allowed five wives: he created a very big thing, which we have still to deal with. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When people talk as if the Crusades were nothing more than an aggressive raid against Islam, they seem to forget in the strangest way that Islam itself was only an aggressive raid against the old and ordered civilization in these parts. I do not say it in mere hostility to the religion of Mahomet; I am fully conscious of many values and virtues in it; but certainly it was Islam that was the invasion and Christendom that was the thing invaded. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Comradeship is quite a different thing from friendship. . . Gilbert K Chesterton
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The Mass is very long and tiresome unless one loves God. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There again," said Syme irritably, "what is there poetical about being in revolt? You might as well say that it is poetical to be sea-sick. Being sick is a revolt. Both being sick and being rebellious may be the wholesome thing on certain desperate occasions; but I'm hanged if I can see why they are poetical...It is things going right," he cried, "that is poetical! Our digestions, for instance, going sacredly and silently right, that is the foundation of all poetry...the most poetical thing in the world is not being sick. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Real development is not leaving things behind, as on a road, but drawing life from them, as on a root. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution. 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 all the other people how good they are. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A man running after a hat is not half so ridiculous as a man running after a wife. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Your next-door neighbour... is not a man; he is an environment. He is the barking of a dog; he is the noise of a pianola; he is a dispute about a party wall; he is drains that are worse than yours, or roses that are better than yours. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The scientific facts, which were supposed to contradict the faith in the nineteenth century, are nearly all of them regarded as unscientific fictions in the twentieth century. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Most Americans are born drunk, and really require a little wine or beer to sober them. They have a sort of permanent intoxication from within, a sort of invisible champagne. Americans do not need to drink to inspire them to do anything, though they do sometimes, I think, need a little for the deeper and more delicate purpose of teaching them how to do nothing. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A naked moon stood in a naked sky. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is nothing so weak, for working purposes, as this enormous importance attached to immediate victory. There is nothing that fails like success. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. Never forget that the devil fell by force of gravity. He who has the faith has the fun. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We are all ordinary people. And it's the extraordinary people Who know it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We can't turn life into a pleasure. But we can choose such pleasures as are worthy of us and our immortal souls. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The modern materialists are not permitted to doubt; they are forbidden to believe. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago; I never could feel in New York that it mattered what anybody did an hour ago. Gilbert K Chesterton
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You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Realism is simply Romanticism that has lost its reason...that is its reason for existing. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Leaving the complications of the human breakfast-table out of account, in an elemental sense, the egg only exists to produce the chicken. But the chicken does not exist only in order to produce another egg. He may also exist to amuse himself, to praise God, and even to suggest ideas to a French dramatist. Being a conscious life, he is, or may be, valuable in himself. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Every act of will is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense, every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The modern world... has no notion except that of simplifying something by destroying nearly everything. Gilbert K Chesterton
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They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words - 'free-love' - as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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At least five times, with the Arian and the Albigensian, with the Humanist skeptic, after Voltaire and after Darwin, the Christian Faith has to all appearance, gone to the dogs? But, in each of these five cases, it was the dog that died. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Contemporary society has become dry, not for lack of wonders but for lack of wonder. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It has always been one of my unclerical sermons to myself, that that remark which Peter made on seeing the vision of a single hour, ought to be made by us all, in contemplating every panoramic change in the long Vision we call life... "It is good for us to be here - it is good for us to be here", repeating itself eternally. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Doing nothing is sometimes one of the highest of the duties of man. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Whether a man chooses to tell the truth in long sentences or short jokes is a problem analogous to whether he chooses to tell the truth in French or in German. Gilbert K Chesterton
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What is education? Properly speaking, there is no such thing as education. Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. Whatever the soul is like, it will have to be passed on somehow, consciously or unconsciously, and that transition may be called education. ... What we need is to have a culture before we hand it down. In other words, it is a truth, however sad and strange, that we cannot give what we have not got, and cannot teach to other people what we do not know ourselves. Gilbert K Chesterton
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He walked by instinct along one white road, on which early birds hopped and sang, and found himself outside a fenced garden. There he saw the sister of Gregory, the girl with the gold-red hair, cutting lilac before breakfast, with the great unconscious gravity of a girl. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If you'd take your head home and boil it for a turnip it might be useful. I can't say. But it might. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of something he cannot understand. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is one thing to describe an interview with a gorgon or a griffin, a creature who does not exist. It is another thing to discover that the rhinoceros does exist and then take pleasure in the fact that he looks as if he didn't. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Only poor men get hanged. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The ignorant pronounce it Frood To cavil or applaud The well-informed pronounce it Froyd But I pronounce it Fraud. Gilbert K Chesterton
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