Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The vulgar man is always the most distinguished, for the very desire to be distinguished is vulgar. 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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Adventure is the champagne of life, but I prefer my champagne and my adventures dry. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men. As far as he is concerned he wipes out the world. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism ? the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem. Gilbert K Chesterton
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You can free things from alien or accidental laws, but not from the laws of their own nature. You may, if you like, free a tiger from his bars; but do not free him from his stripes. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is always in the healthy mind an obscure prompting that religion teaches us rather to dig than to climb; that if we could once understand the common clay of earth we should understand everything. Similarly, we have the sentiment that if we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. This is the great truth which has always lain at the back of baby-worship, and which will support it to the end. 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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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
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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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The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, The Odyssey because all life is a journey, The Book of Job because all life is a riddle. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is always the secure who are humble. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I always like a dog so long as he isn't spelled backward. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Indeed the Book of Job avowedly only answers mystery with mystery. Job is comforted with riddles; but he is comforted. Herein is indeed a type, in the sense of a prophecy, of things speaking with authority. For when he who doubts can only say, 'I do not understand,' it is true that he who knows can only reply or repeat 'You do not understand.' And under that rebuke there is always a sudden hope in the heart; and the sense of something that would be worth understanding. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people. 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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Adventure is the champagne of life. Gilbert K Chesterton
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They say travel broadens the mind, but you must have the mind. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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A change of opinions is almost unknown in an elderly military man. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When giving treats to friends or children, give them what they like, emphatically not what is good for them. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative. Gilbert K Chesterton
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For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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A good man's work is effected by doing what he does, a woman's by being what she is. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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. . . 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
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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
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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
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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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I never said a word against eminent men of science. What I complain of is a vague popular philosophy which supposes itself to be scientific when it is really nothing but a sort of new religion and an uncommonly nasty one. When people talked about the fall of man, they knew they were talking about a mystery, a thing they didn't understand. Now they talk about the survival of the fittest: they think they do understand it, whereas they have not merely no notion, they have an elaborately false notion of what the words mean. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Time and again, the Faith has to all appearances gone to the dogs. But each time, it was the dog that died. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Whenever you remove any fence, always pause long enough to ask why it was put there in the first place. Gilbert K Chesterton
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How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos. Gilbert K Chesterton
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La mejor prueba de la cultura y la liberalidad de un hombre es su actitud ante las cosas que nunca sucedieron. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I do not believe that any human being is fundamentally happier for being finally lost in a crowd, even if it is called a crowd of comrades. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is often a mistake to combine two pleasures, because pleasures, like pains, can act as counter-irri-tants to each other. 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. They have introduced an almost insane individualism into that one form of intercourse which is specially and uproariously communal. They have made even levities into secrets. They have made laughter lonelier than tears. Gilbert K Chesterton
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What is the good of telling a community that it has every liberty except the liberty to make laws? The liberty to make laws is what constitutes a free people. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The most important fact about the subject of education is that there is no such thing. Education is not a subject and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them Gilbert K Chesterton
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