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G. K. Chesterton (Writer)

Impartiality is a pompousfor , which is an elegant name for .
G. K. Chesterton art
There is a certain, and that a genuine one, in thisof having missed the fullof things. There is , not only in , but in this dazed and dramatic .
G. K. Chesterton drama
The center of every man's existence is a dream.
G. K. Chesterton dream
Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.
G. K. Chesterton art
One of the deepest and strangest of allmoods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at , or deep in sloping meadows, thethat everyand leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the fullof things. There is , not only in , but in this dazed and dramatic .
G. K. Chesterton strange
Theof thismay be founded on , but itsis run on spiritual impressions and atmospheres.
G. K. Chesterton spiritual
Theis that , with his immense , with his colossal , with his vastand vastof , is deficient in one faculty and one faculty alone. He is not a mystic; and therefore he has a tendency to go mad. Men talk of the extravagances and frenzies that have been produced by ; they are a mere drop in the bucket. In the main, and from theof , mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was . ...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.
G. K. Chesterton belief
is always a kind of brute ; those who appeal to the head rather than the , however pallid and polite, aremen of . We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.
G. K. Chesterton art
The center of every man's existence is a . , , , are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel.
G. K. Chesterton man
The simplification of anything is always sensational.
G. K. Chesterton cat
He is only a very shallowwho cannot see anrebel in theof the .
G. K. Chesterton
Many clever men like you have trusted to . 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?
G. K. Chesterton art
"Lord! what a in which a man cannot remain unique even by taking the trouble to go mad!"
G. K. Chesterton man
There is only one thing that it requires realto say, and that is a truism.
G. K. Chesterton real
"Bosh," he said, "On what else is the whole world run but immediate impressions? What is more practical? My friend, theof thismay be founded on facts, but itsis run on spiritual impressions and atmospheres."
G. K. Chesterton spiritual
Moderateis shown in , supreme strength is shown in .
G. K. Chesterton strength
must ofbethan… for fiction is the creation of the human , and therefore is congenial to it.
G. K. Chesterton fiction
Men always talk about the most important things to total . It is because in the total stranger we perceive man himself; the image ofis not disguised by resemblances to an uncle orof theof a moustache.
G. K. Chesterton self
Earnest Freethinkers need not worry themselves so much about the persecutions of the . Before theidea is dead or triumphant we shall seeand persecutions the like of which thehas never seen.
G. K. Chesterton dead
Briefly, you can only findwithif you have already found truth without it.
G. K. Chesterton truth
Whenimpute 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.
G. K. Chesterton world
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.
G. K. Chesterton art
The riddles ofare more satisfying than the solutions of man.
G. K. Chesterton man
When learned men begin to use their , then I generally discover that they haven't got any.
G. K. Chesterton men
Men do not differ much about what things they will call ; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.
G. K. Chesterton evil
A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.
G. K. Chesterton time
We have passed the age of the demagogue, the man who has little to say and says it loud. We have come to the age of the mystagogue or don, the man who has nothing to say, but says it softly and impressively in an indistinct whisper.
G. K. Chesterton man
For mysaid that he opened his intellect as theopens the fans of a palm tree, opening for opening's sake, opening infinitely for ever. But I said that I opened my intellect as I opened my mouth, in order to shut it again on something solid. I was doing it at the moment. And as I truly pointed out, it would look uncommonly silly if I went on opening my mouth infinitely, for ever and ever.
G. K. Chesterton men
Misers get up early in the morning; and burglars, I am informed, get up the night before.
G. K. Chesterton night
The baby has known theintimately ever since he had an . What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
G. K. Chesterton sin
Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children , or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of theor the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in thealready. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known theintimately ever since he had an . What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of , that there is something in themorethan , and stronger than strong fear.
G. K. Chesterton fear
"I swear to you, then," said MacIan, after a pause. "I swear to you that nothing shall come between us. I swear to you that nothing shall be in my heart or in my head till our swords clash together. I swear it by the God you have denied, by the Blessed Lady you have blasphemed; I swear it by the seven swords in her heart. I swear it by the Holy Island where my fathers are, by the honour of my mother, by the secret of my people, and by the chalice of the Blood of God." The atheist drew up his head. "And I," he said, "give my word."
G. K. Chesterton art
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
G. K. Chesterton poet
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.
G. K. Chesterton love
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists, as the mother can love the unborn child.
G. K. Chesterton love
Either criticism is no good at all (a very defensible position) or else criticism means saying about an author the very things that would have made him jump out of his boots.
G. K. Chesterton good
As for science and religion, the known and admitted facts are few and plain enough. All that the parsons say is unproved. All that the doctors say is disproved. That's the only difference between science and religion there's ever been, or will be.
G. K. Chesterton religion
There are two ways of dealing with nonsense in this world...
G. K. Chesterton world
The academic mind reflects infinity, and is full of light by the simple process of being shallow and standing still.
G. K. Chesterton mind
Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.
G. K. Chesterton art
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.
G. K. Chesterton men
The rich are the scum of the earth in every country.
G. K. Chesterton art
I am not fighting a hopeless fight. People who have fought in real fights don't, as a rule.
G. K. Chesterton hope
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
G. K. Chesterton right
All government is an ugly necessity.
G. K. Chesterton men
A change of opinions is almost unknown in an elderly military man.
G. K. Chesterton change
When a politician is in opposition he is an expert on the means to some end; and when he is in office he is an expert on the obstacles to it.
G. K. Chesterton obstacles
Prince, Bayard would have smashed his sword To see the sort of knights you dub-- Is that the last of them — O Lord Will someone take me to a pub?
G. K. Chesterton ya
A mystic is a man who separates heaven and earth even if he enjoys them both.
G. K. Chesterton art
Christendom might quite reasonably have been alarmed if it had not been attacked. But as a matter of history it had been attacked. The Crusader would have been quite justified in suspecting the Moslem even if the Moslem had merely been a new stranger; but as a matter of history he was already an old enemy. The critic of the Crusade talks as if it had sought out some inoffensive tribe or temple in the interior of Thibet, which was never discovered until it was invaded. They seem entirely to forget that long before the Crusaders had dreamed of riding to Jerusalem, the Moslems had almost ridden into Paris. They seem to forget that if the Crusaders nearly conquered Palestine, it was but a return upon the Moslems who had nearly conquered Europe.
G. K. Chesterton history
It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.
G. K. Chesterton politicians
There are two ways of dealing with nonsense in this world. One way is to put nonsense in the right place; as when people put nonsense into nursery rhymes. The other is to put nonsense in the wrong place; as when they put it into educational addresses, psychological criticisms, and complaints against nursery rhymes or other normal amusements of mankind.
G. K. Chesterton education
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.
G. K. Chesterton world
I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.
G. K. Chesterton history
If there were not God, there would be no atheists.
G. K. Chesterton atheist
These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.
G. K. Chesterton praise
do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
G. K. Chesterton fashion
There is something to be said for every error; but, whatever may be said for it, the most important thing to be said about it is that it is erroneous.
G. K. Chesterton hate
The modern world seems to have no notion of preserving different things side by side, of allowing its proper and proportionate place to each, of saving the whole varied heritage of culture. It has no notion except that of simplifying something by destroying nearly everything.
G. K. Chesterton world
What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but absence of self-criticism.
G. K. Chesterton world
Plato was right, but not quite right.
G. K. Chesterton right
The Church never said that wrongs could not or should not be righted; or that commonwealths could not or should not be made happier; or that it was not worth while to help them in secular and material things; or that it is not a good thing if manners become milder, or comforts more common, or cruelties more rare. But she did say that we must not count on the certainty even of comforts becoming more common or cruelties more rare; as if this were an inevitable social trend towards a sinless humanity; instead of being as it was a mood of man, and perhaps a better mood, possibly to be followed by a worse one. We must not hate humanity, or despise humanity, or refuse to help humanity; but we must not trust humanity; in the sense of trusting a trend in human nature which cannot turn back to bad things.
G. K. Chesterton war
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.
G. K. Chesterton
For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.
G. K. Chesterton love
The poor object to being governed badly, while the rich object to being governed at all.
G. K. Chesterton poor
Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear. It annoys them very much.
G. K. Chesterton god
Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
G. K. Chesterton education
A modern man may disapprove of some of his sweeping reforms, and approve others; but finds it difficult not to admire even where he does not approve.
G. K. Chesterton man
I've searched all the parks in all the cities — and found no statues of Committees.
G. K. Chesterton sea
And I will add this point of merely personal experience of humanity: when men have a real explanation they explain it, eagerly and copiously and in common speech, as Huxley freely gave it when he thought he had it. When they have no explanation to offer, they give short dignified replies, disdainful of the ignorance of the multitude.
G. K. Chesterton humanity
It is only great men who take up a great space by not being there.
G. K. Chesterton men
A collection of essays previously published in The Speaker and The Daily News.
G. K. Chesterton
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. It has been proved a hundred times over that if you really wish to enrage people and make them angry, even unto death, the right way to do it is to tell them that they are all the sons of God.
G. K. Chesterton death
The cause which is blocking all progress today is the subtle scepticism which whispers in a million ears that things are not good enough to be worth improving. If the world is good we are revolutionaries, if the world is evil we must be conservatives. These essays, futile as they are considered as serious literature, are yet ethically sincere, since they seek to remind men that things must be loved first and improved afterwards.
G. K. Chesterton love
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.
G. K. Chesterton poetry
There runs a strange law through the length of human history — that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam, is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility. This is the great fall, the fall by which the fish forgets the sea, the ox forgets the meadow, the clerk forgets the city, every man forgets his environment and, in the fullest and most literal sense, forgets himself. This is the real fall of Adam, and it is a spiritual fall. It is a strange thing that many truly spiritual men, such as General , have actually spent some hours in speculating upon the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed.
G. K. Chesterton happiness
The pessimist is commonly spoken of as the man in revolt. He is not. Firstly, because it requires some cheerfulness to continue in revolt, and secondly, because pessimism appeals to the weaker side of everybody, and the pessimist, therefore, drives as roaring a trade as the publican. 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. It has been proved a hundred times over that if you really wish to enrage people and make them angry, even unto death, the right way to do it is to tell them that they are all the sons of God.
G. K. Chesterton death
Every one of the great revolutionists, fromto , have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.
G. K. Chesterton men
Now it has appeared to me unfair that humanity should be engaged perpetually in calling all those things bad which have been good enough to make other things better, in everlastingly kicking down the ladder by which it has climbed. It has appeared to me that progress should be something else besides a continual parricide; therefore I have investigated the dust-heaps of humanity, and found a treasure in all of them. I have found that humanity is not incidentally engaged, but eternally and systematically engaged, in throwing gold into the gutter and diamonds into the sea.
G. K. Chesterton humanity
Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are — of immeasurable stature.
G. K. Chesterton art
The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice. Moral truisms have been so much disputed that they have begun to sparkle like so many brilliant paradoxes.
G. K. Chesterton man
We all know that the 'divine glory of the ego' is socially a great nuisance; we all do actually value our friends for modesty, freshness, and simplicity of heart. Whatever may be the reason, we all do warmly respect humility — in other people.
G. K. Chesterton war
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.
G. K. Chesterton art
It is always the secure who are humble.
G. K. Chesterton
A beetle may or may not be inferior to a man — the matter awaits demonstration; but if he were inferior by ten thousand fathoms, the fact remains that there is probably a beetle view of things of which a man is entirely ignorant. If he wishes to conceive that point of view, he will scarcely reach it by persistently revelling in the fact that he is not a beetle.
G. K. Chesterton man
Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are — of immeasurable stature. That the trees are high and the grasses short is a mere accident of our own foot-rules and our own stature. But to the spirit which has stripped off for a moment its own idle temporal standards the grass is an everlasting forest, with dragons for denizens; the stones of the road are as incredible mountains piled one upon the other; the dandelions are like gigantic bonfires illuminating the lands around; and the heath-bells on their stalks are like planets hung in heaven each higher than the other.
G. K. Chesterton art
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. Men do not quarrel about the meaning of sunsets; they never dispute that the hawthorn says the best and wittiest thing about the spring.
G. K. Chesterton art
The one stream of poetry which is continually flowing is slang.
G. K. Chesterton poetry
All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.
G. K. Chesterton poetry
If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse.
G. K. Chesterton stars
The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.
G. K. Chesterton time
The truth is that it is our attitude towards children that is right, and our attitude towards grown-up people that is wrong.
G. K. Chesterton truth
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
G. K. Chesterton truth
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.
G. K. Chesterton truth
The humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together.
G. K. Chesterton humor
When we reverence anything in the mature, it is their virtues or their wisdom, and this is an easy matter. But we reverence the faults and follies of children.We should probably come considerably nearer to the true conception of things if we treated all grown-up persons, of all titles and types, with precisely that dark affection and dazed respect with which we treat the infantile limitations.
G. K. Chesterton wisdom
The humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together. Their top-heavy dignity is more touching than any humility; their solemnity gives us more hope for all things than a thousand carnivals of optimism; their large and lustrous eyes seem to hold all the stars in their astonishment; their fascinating absence of nose seems to give to us the most perfect hint of the humour that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.
G. K. Chesterton humor
'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'.
G. K. Chesterton mother
There are some people, nevertheless — and I am one of them — who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe.
G. K. Chesterton people
Chapter I : "Introductory Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy"
G. K. Chesterton

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