Gilbert K Chesterton Quotes & Wallpapers

Gilbert K Chesterton
Total Quotes: 1564


Nothing is so remote from us as the thing which is not old enough to be history and not new enough to be news. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The mind moves by instincts, associations and premonitions and not by fixed dates or completed processes. Action and reaction will occur simultaneously: or the cause actually be found after the effect. Errors will be resisted before they have been properly promulgated: notions will be first defined long after they are dead. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Every man speaks of public opinion, and means by public opinion, public opinion minus his opinion. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When fishes flew and forests walked And figs grew upon thorn, Some moment when the moon was blood Then surely I was born. With monstrous head and sickening cry And ears like errant wings, The devil's walking parody On all four-footed things. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable one. The trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Gilbert K Chesterton
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A child's instinct is almost perfect in the matter of fighting. The child's hero is always the man or boy who defends himself suddenly and splendidly against aggression. Gilbert K Chesterton
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No one can understand Paris and its history who does not understand that its fierceness is the balance and justification of its frivolity. It is called a city of pleasure; but it may also very specially be called a city of pain. The crown of roses is also a crown of thorns. Its people are too prone to hurt others, but quite ready also to hurt themselves. They are martyrs for religion, they are martyrs for irreligion; they are even martyrs for immorality. Gilbert K Chesterton
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In our time the blasphemies are threadbare. Pessimism is now patently, as it always was essentially, more commonplace than piety. Profanity is now more than an affectation - it is a convention. The curse against God is Exercise I in the primer of minor poetry. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Circumstances break men's bones; it has never been shown that they break men's optimism. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The mere brute pleasure of reading [...] the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. Gilbert K Chesterton
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What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but absence of self-criticism. Gilbert K Chesterton
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In our time the blasphemies are threadbare. Pessimism is now patently, as it always was essentially, more commonplace than piety. Profanity is now more than an affectation - it is a convention. The curse against God is Exercise I in the primer of minor poetry. Gilbert K Chesterton
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My country, right or wrong' is a thing that no patriot would think of saying, except in a desperate case. It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober'. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Silver is sometimes more valuable than gold, that is, in large quantities. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We are talking about an artist; and for the enjoyment of the artist the mask must be to some extent moulded on the face. What he makes outside him must correspond to something inside him; he can only make his effects out of some of the materials of his soul. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It has often been said, very truly, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Fairy-tales do not give a child his first idea of bogy. What fairy-tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogy. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairytale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Our civilization has decided, and very justly 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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A great deal of contemporary criticism reads to me like a man saying: Of course I do not like green cheese: I am very fond of brown sherry. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The Museum is not meant for the wanderer to see by accident or for the pilgrim to see with awe. It is meant for the mere slave of a routine of self-education to stuff himself with every sort of incongruous intellectual food in one indigestible meal... Gilbert K Chesterton
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Carlyle said that men were mostly fools. Christianity, with a surer and more reverend realism, says that they are all fools. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Literature has always been allegorical. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The man who sees consistency in things is a wit; the man who sees the inconsistency in things is a humorist. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is nothing that fails like success. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is no skeptic who does not feel that men have doubted before, but no man in love thinks that anyone has been in love before. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes -our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking around. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road. A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire. Gilbert K Chesterton
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He could not think up to the height of his own towering style. Gilbert K Chesterton
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No one can understand Paris and its history who does not understand that its fierceness is the balance and justification of its frivolity. It is called a city of pleasure; but it may also very specially be called a city of pain. Gilbert K Chesterton
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If an angel out of heaven Brings you other things to drink, Thank him for his kind attentions, Go and pour them down the sink. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget. For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet. Gilbert K Chesterton
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There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats Grape Nuts on principle. Gilbert K Chesterton
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To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school. Gilbert K Chesterton
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All but the hard-hearted must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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We're all in the same boat, and we're all seasick. Gilbert K Chesterton
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When "everyone knows" that something is so, it is always more interesting and often illuminating to assumeexactly the opposite, and to see where that leads. Gilbert K Chesterton
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What the world wants, what the world is waiting for, is not Modern Poetry or Classical Poetry or Neo-Classical Poetry - but Good Poetry. And the dreadful disreputable doubt, which stirs in my own skeptical mind, is doubt about whether it would really matter much what style a poet chose to write in, in any period, as long as he wrote Good poetry. Gilbert K Chesterton
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You may think a crime horrible because you could never commit it. I think it is horrible because I could commit it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The grinding power of the plain words of the Gospel story is like the power of mill-stones, and those who can read them simply enough will feel as if rocks had been rolled upon them. 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. Gilbert K Chesterton
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THERE are no wise few; for in all men rages the folly of the Fall. Take your strongest, happiest, handsomest, best born, best bred, best instructed men on earth and give them special power for half an hour and because they are men they will begin to [perform] badly ... Gilbert K Chesterton
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Humility is the mother of giants. 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 state of mind; Praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; Joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live? Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man's ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this, that by its creed Joy becomes something gigantic, and Sadness something special and small. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth? Gilbert K Chesterton
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He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I left the fairy tales lying on the floor of the nursery, and I have not found any books so sensible since. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The best kind of giving is thanksgiving. Gilbert K Chesterton
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And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine, "I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine." Gilbert K Chesterton
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We have had no good comic operas of late, because the real world has been more comic than any possible opera. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I agree with the realistic Irishman who said he preferred to prophesy after the event. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed. Gilbert K Chesterton
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All government is an ugly necessity. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I never could see anything wrong in sensationalism; and I am sure our society is suffering more from secrecy than from flamboyant revelations. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The modern city is ugly not because it is a city but because it is not enough of a city, because it is a jungle, because it is confused and anarchic, and surging with selfish and materialistic energies. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Self-denial is the test and definition of self-government. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Women have a thirst for order and beauty as for something physical; there is a strange female power of hating ugliness and waste as good men can only hate sin and bad men virtue. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice. Gilbert K Chesterton
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To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun; to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea. Gilbert K Chesterton
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I would rather a boy learnt in the roughest school the courage to hit a politician, or gained in the hardest school the learning to refute him - rather than that he should gain in the most enlightened school the cunning to copy him. Gilbert K Chesterton
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Only friendliness produces friendship. And we must look far deeper into the soul of man for the thing that produces friendliness. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is not merely true that a creed unites men. Nay, a difference of creed unites men - so long as it is a clear difference. A boundary unites. Many a magnanimous Moslem and chivalrous Crusader must have been nearer to each other, because they were both dogmatists, than any two agnostics. "I say God is One," and "I say God is One but also Three," that is the beginning of a good quarrelsome, manly friendship. Gilbert K Chesterton
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In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together. Gilbert K Chesterton
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The power which makes a man able to entertain a good impulse is the same as that which enables him to make a good gun; it is imagination. Gilbert K Chesterton
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It is not greedy to enjoy a good dinner, any more than it is to enjoy a good concert. But I do think there is something greedy about trying to enjoy the dinner and the concert at the same time. Gilbert K Chesterton
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