Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The only defensible war is a war of defense. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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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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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Modern man is staggering and losing his balance because he is being pelted with little pieces of alleged fact which are native to the newspapers; and, if they turn out not to be facts, that is still more native to newspapers. Gilbert K Chesterton
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America has a genius for the encouragement of fame. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The rich are the scum of the earth in every country. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The old assumption of the approximate impossibility of war really rested on a similar assumption about the impossibility of evil-and especially of evil in high places. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A feminist is someone who loathes being a woman and who dislikes the chief feminine characteristics. Gilbert K Chesterton
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He said he didn't very well understand how George was going to sleep any more than he did now, seeing that there were only twenty-four hours in each day. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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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
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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
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The Sentimentalist, roughly speaking, is the man who wants to eat his cake and have it. He has no sense of honor about ideas; he will not see that one must pay for an idea as well as for anything else. He will have them all at once in one wild intellectual harem, no matter how much they quarrel and contradict each other. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Family is the theatre of the spiritual drama, the place where things happen, especially the things that matter. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Humour is meant, in a literal sense, to make game of man; that is, to dethrone him from his official dignity and hunt him like game. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The life of a thinking man will probably be divided into two parts - the first in which he desires to exterminate modern thinkers, and the second in which he desires to watch them exterminating each other. ... Suppose, for instance, there is an old story and a new skeptic who is skeptical of the story. We have only to wait a little while for a yet newer skeptic who is skeptical of the skeptic. He will probably find the old notion actually a help in his new notion. This process is an abstract truth applying to anything, apart from agreement or disagreement. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The central idea of poetry is the idea of guessing right, like a child. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When some English moralists write about the importance of having character, they appear to mean only the importance of having a dull character. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It may be a mere patriotic bias, though I do not think so, but it seems to me that the English aristocracy is not only the type, but is the crown and flower of all actual aristocracies; it has all the oligarchical virtues as well as all the defects. It is casual, it is kind, it is courageous in obvious matters; but it has one great merit that overlaps even these. The great and very obvious merit of the English aristocracy is that nobody could possibly take it seriously. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The academic mind reflects infinity, and is full of light by the simple process of being shallow and standing still. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The truth is that it is our attitude towards children that is right, and our attitude towards grown-up people that is wrong. Our attitude towards our equals in age consists in a servile solemnity, overlying a considerable degree of indifference or disdain. Our attitude towards children consists in a condescending indulgence, overlying an unfathomable respect. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Odd, isn't it, that a thief and a vagabond should repent, when so many who are rich and secure remain hard and frivolous, and without fruit for God or man? Gilbert K Chesterton
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I am myself so exceedingly Nordic, as far as physical constitution is concerned, that I can enjoy almost any weather except what is called glorious weather. At the end of a few days, I am left wondering how the men of the Mediterranean ever managed to do almost all the most active and astonishing things that have been done. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When everything about a people is for the time growing weak and ineffective, it begins to talk about efficiency. So it is that when a man's body is a wreck he begins, for the first time, to talk about health. Vigorous organisms talk not about their processes, but about their aims. Gilbert K Chesterton
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No man ought to write at all, or even to speak at all, unless he thinks that he is in truth and the other man in error. In similar style, I hold that I am dogmatic and right, while Mr. Shaw is dogmatic and wrong. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Whatever the word great means, Dickens was what it means. Gilbert K Chesterton
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For we that fight till the world is free, We are not easy in victory: We have known each other too long, my brother, And fought each other, the world and we. Gilbert K Chesterton
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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
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He was, if ever there was one, an inspired poet. I do not think it the highest sort of poet. And you never discover who is an inspired poet until the inspiration goes. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The mystic does not bring doubts or riddles: the doubts and riddles exist already. We all feel the riddle of the earth without anyone to point it out. The mystery of life is the plainest part of it. The clouds and curtains of darkness, the confounding vapors, these are the daily weather of this world. Gilbert K Chesterton
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To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I think I will not hang myself today. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A good civilization spreads over us freely like a tree, varying and yielding because it is alive. A bad civilization stands up and sticks out above us like an umbrella - artificial, mathematical in shape; not merely universal, but uniform. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A tragedy means always a man's struggle with that which is stronger than man. 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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You never know the best about men until you know the worst about them. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is more to life than increasing its speed. Gandhi gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it? Richard Bach Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We are like the penny, because we have the image of the king stamped on us, the divine king. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The great saint may be said to mix all his thoughts with thanks. All goods look better when they look like gifts. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The Christian pities men because they are dying, and the Buddhist pities them because they are living. The Christian is sorry for what damages the life of a man; but the Buddhist is sorry for him because he is alive. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Were Patrick Henry to return to earth and look around on the vast economic order of the day, he might revise his observation and merely say "Give me death"-the alternative being manifestly impossible under modern conditions. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Very few people in the world would care to listen to the real defense of their own characters. The real defense, the defense which belongs to the Day of Judgment, would make such damaging admissions, would clear away so many artificial virtues, would tell such tragedies of weakness and failure, that a man would sooner be misunderstood and censured by the world than exposed to that awful and merciless eulogy. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If man is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If Christianity should happen to be true - that is to say, if its God is the real God of the universe - then defending it may mean talking about anything and everything. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The moderns do not realize modernity. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The one created thing which we cannot look at is the one thing in the light of which we look at everything. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Instead of the machine being a giant to which the man is the pygmy, we must at last reverse the proportions until man is a giant to whom the machine is the toy. Gilbert K Chesterton
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That all war is physically frightful is obvious; but if that were a moral verdict, there would be no difference between a torturer and a surgeon. There are certain intellectuals who are too bright to be content with merely praising peace but who are infuriated by anybody praising war. If no war is possible, all criminality has its chance 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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If a man proves too clearly and convincingly to himself... that a tiger is an optical illusion - well, he will find out he is wrong. The tiger will himself intervene in the discussion, in a manner which will be in every sense conclusive. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged a cloud of sunset. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The woman does not work because the man tells her to work and she obeys. On the contrary, the woman works because she has told the man to work and he has' obeyed. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The gallows in my garden, people say, Is new and neat and adequately tall. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I rose politely in the club And said, I feel a little bored; Will someone take me to a pub? Gilbert K Chesterton
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