Quotations by:
    Chesterton, Gilbert Keith


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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“A Defence of Heraldry,” The Defendant (1901)
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Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

Chesterton - cheese - wist_info quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Cheese,” Alarms and Discursions (1911)
 
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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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Child Psychology and Nonsense” (15 Oct 1921)
 
Added on 8-Mar-08 | Last updated 8-Mar-08
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If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the flower beside the fruit,
And if I set the town beside the country,
And if I set the man beside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk
     About one being better.

Chesterton - If I set the sun beside the moon I suppose some fool would talk about one being better - wist.info quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Comparisons”
    (Source)

In "The Notebook" (1894-98). BL MS Add. 73334, fo. 5.

The poem, which has no formal title, has been printed in multiple forms. In many cases, the third line (flower/fruit) is omitted. In some cases "tower" is substituted for "town."
 
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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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Holding on to Romanticism,” The Illustrated London News (2 May 1931)
 
Added on 29-Jun-09 | Last updated 25-Jun-09
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An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“On Running After One’s Hat” (1908)
 
Added on 19-Oct-12 | Last updated 19-Oct-12
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The first fact about the celebration of a birthday is that it is a way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Our Birthday,” G. K.’s Weekly (21 Mar 1935)
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Added on 14-May-21 | Last updated 14-May-21
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Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Our Note Book,” Illustrated London News (5 May 1928)

Often misattributed to Oscar Wilde (and as "Morality, like art ..."). For more info, see here.
 
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Unless a thing is dignified, it cannot be undignified. Why is it funny that a man should sit down suddenly in the street? There is only one possible or intelligent reason: that man is the image of God. It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down. No one sees anything funny in a tree falling down. No one sees a delicate absurdity in a stone falling down. No man stops in the road and roars with laughter at the sight of the snow coming down. The fall of thunderbolts is treated with some gravity. The fall of roofs and high buildings is taken seriously. It is only when a man tumbles down that we laugh. Why do we laugh? Because it is a grave religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Spiritualism,” All Things Considered (1908)
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People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“The New Generations and Morality,” The Illustrated London News (9 Mar 1929)
 
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Father Brown laid down his cigar and said carefully: “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“The Point of a Pin,” The Scandal of Father Brown (1925)
 
Added on 24-Sep-07 | Last updated 24-Sep-07
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It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“The Point of a Pin,” The Scandal of Father Brown (1935)
 
Added on 25-Jun-08 | Last updated 25-Jun-08
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I know that journalism largely consists in saying, “Lord Jones Dead” to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“The Purple Wig,” The Wisdom of Father Brown (1914)
    (Source)

While the quoted phrase uses a headline style, omitting the article, the vast majority of copies of it read "Lord Jones is dead." Other paraphrases:
  • "Journalism is there to tell us Jones is dead, even though it didn’t tell us he was alive."
  • "Journalism is the art of making interesting the fact that Lady Jones is dead , even to those who had never known that she was alive."
  • "Our business of news is telling the world that Lord Jones is dead when most of us did not even know he was alive."
 
Added on 13-Nov-20 | Last updated 13-Nov-20
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We have all heard enough to fill a book about Dr. Johnson’s incivilities. I wish they would compile another book consisting of Dr. Johnson’s apologies. There is no better test of a man’s ultimate chivalry and integrity than how he behaves when he is wrong; and Johnson behaved very well. He understood (what so many faultlessly polite people do not understand) that a stiff apology is a second insult. He understood that the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“The Real Dr. Johnson,” The Common Man (1950)
 
Added on 6-Mar-19 | Last updated 6-Mar-19
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You can only find truth with logic if you have already found it without it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
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It’s not the world that’s gotten so much worse, but the news coverage that’s gotten so much better.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
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The whole order of things is as outrageous as any miracle which could presume to violate it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
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If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man become in its long journey toward the stars?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
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Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear. It annoys them very much.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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For religion all men are equal, as all pennies are equal, because the only value in any of them is that they bear the image of the king.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
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It is the test of a good religion whether you can make a joke about it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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A businessman is the only man who is forever apologizing for his occupation.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Oct-07 | Last updated 1-Oct-07
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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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
A Miscellany of Men (1912)
 
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The doctrine of human equality reposes on this: that there is no man really clever who has not found that he is stupid.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
A Miscelleny of Men, “The Angry Author: His Farewell (1912)
 
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To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
A Short History of England (1917)
 
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To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
A Short History of England (1917)
 
Added on 10-Dec-07 | Last updated 10-Dec-07
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All government is an ugly necessity.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
A Short History of England (1917)
 
Added on 5-Aug-08 | Last updated 5-Aug-08
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All government is an ugly necessity.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
A Short History of England (1917)
 
Added on 26-Sep-11 | Last updated 26-Sep-11
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We are justified in enforcing good morals, for they belong to all mankind; but we are not justified in enforcing good manners, for good manners always mean our own manners.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
All Things Considered, “Limericks and Counsels of Perfection” (1908)
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It is not only possible to say a great deal in praise of play; it is really possible to say the highest things in praise of it. It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground. To be at last in such secure innocence that one can juggle with the universe and the stars, to be so good that one can treat everything as a joke — that may be, perhaps, the real end and final holiday of human souls.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
All Things Considered, “Oxford from Without” (1908)

Full text.

 
Added on 1-Apr-10 | Last updated 1-Apr-10
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It is so easy to be solemn; it is so hard to be frivolous.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
All Things Considered, “The Case for the Ephemeral” (1908)
 
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The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
All Things Considered, “The Methuselahite” (1908)
 
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There are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
As I Was Saying: A Chesterton Reader, ch. 17 [ed. R. Knille] (1985)
 
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Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Autobiography (1936)
 
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Bowing down in blind credulity, as is my custom, before mere authority and the tradition of the elders, superstitiously swallowing a story I could not test at the time by experiment or private judgment, I am firmly of the opinion that I was born on the 29th of May, 1874, on Campden Hill, Kensington ….

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Autobiography (1936)
 
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A man has been lucky in marrying the women he loves. But he is luckier in loving the woman he marries.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Brave New Family

ed. Alvaro de Silva (1990)
 
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When anyone goes about on his hands and knees looking for a great man to worship, he is making sure that one man at any rate shall not be great.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Charles Dickens, ch. 1 (1906)
 
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Men feel that cruelty to the poor is a kind of cruelty to animals. They never feel that it is an injustice to equals; nay it is treachery to comrades.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Charles Dickens, Ch. 11 (1906)
 
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The wise old fairy tales never were so silly as to say that the prince and the princess lived peacefully ever afterwards. The fairy tales said that the prince and the princess lived happily, and so they did. They lived happily, although it is very likely that from time to time they threw the furniture at each other. Most marriages, I think, are happy marriages; but there is no such thing as a contented marriage. The whole pleasure of marriage is that it is a perpetual crisis.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Chesterton on Dickens (1911)
 
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The dispute that goes on between Macbeth and his wife about the murder of Duncan is almost word for word a dispute which goes on at any suburban breakfast table about something else. It is merely a matter of changing ‘Infirm of purpose, give me the daggers’ into ‘Infirm of purpose, give me the postage stamps.’

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Chesterton on Shakespeare

ed. Dorothy Collins (1972)
 
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Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Eugenics and Other Evils, ch. 1 (1922)
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The new school of art and thought does indeed wear an air of audacity, and breaks out everywhere into blasphemies, as if it required any courage to say a blasphemy. There is only one thing that requires real courage to say, and that is a truism.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
G.F. Watts (1906)
 
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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 Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Generally Speaking, ch. 20 (1929)
 
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Truth, of course, must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for we have made fiction to suit ourselves.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics (1905)

See Twain.
 
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It is foolish, generally speaking, for a philosopher to set fire to another philosopher in Smithfield Market because they do not agree in their theory of the universe. That was done very frequently in the last decadence of the Middle Ages, and it failed altogether in its object. But there is one thing that is infinitely more absurd and unpractical than burning a man for his philosophy. This is the habit of saying that his philosophy does not matter, and this is done universally in the twentieth century, in the decadence of the great revolutionary period.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 1 (1905)
 
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Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 12 “Paganism and Mr. Lowes Dickenson” (1905)

Full text.
 
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Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible. Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate. It is true that there is a state of hope which belongs to bright prospects and the morning; but that is not the virtue of hope. The virtue of hope exists only in earthquake and, eclipse. 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. For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment. Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 12 (1905)
 
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A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.

chesterton-good-novel-truth-bad-novel-truth-wist_info-quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 15 “On Smart Novelists and the Smart Set” (1905)
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As enunciated today, “progress” is simply a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 2 (1905)
 
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Religious and philosophical beliefs are, indeed, as dangerous as fire, and nothing can take from them that beauty of danger. But there is only one way of really guarding ourselves against the excessive danger of them, and that is to be steeped in philosophy and soaked in religion.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 20 (1905)
 
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Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are least dangerous is the man of ideas. He is acquainted with ideas, and moves among them like a lion-tamer. Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are most dangerous is the man of no ideas. The man of no ideas will find the first idea fly to his head like wine to the head of a teetotaller.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 20 (1905)
 
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Bigotry in the main has always been the pervading omnipotence of those who do not care crushing out those who care in darkness and blood.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 20 (1905)
 
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The modern world … holds certain dogmas so strongly that it does not know that they are dogmas.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 20 (1905)
 
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There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Heretics, ch. 3 (1905)
 
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The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (11 Jun 2010)
 
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The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (14 Jan 1911)
 
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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 Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (14 Mar 1908)
 
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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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (19 Apr 1924)
 
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Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (19 Apr 1930)
 
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Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (19 Apr 1930)
 
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Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (23 Oct 1909)
 
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War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (24 Jul 1915)
 
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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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (25 April 1931)
 
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The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (28 Oct 1922)
 
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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.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (3 Jun 1922)
 
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The true technical genius has triumphed when he has made himself unnecessary. It is only the quack who makes himself indispensable.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News, “Civilization and Progress” (30 Nov 1912)
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For us who live in cities Nature is not natural. Nature is supernatural. Just as monks watched and strove to get a glimpse of heaven, so we watch and strive to get a glimpse of earth. It is as if men had cake and wine every day but were sometimes allowed common bread.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News, “The Silly Season and Serious Discussion” (31 Aug 1907)
 
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War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News, column (24 Jul. 1915)
 
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CONJURER: Doctor, there are about a thousand reasons why I should not tell you how I really did that trick. But one will suffice, because it is the most practical of all.
DOCTOR: Well? And why shouldn’t you tell me?
CONJURER:”Because you wouldn’t believe me if I did.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Magic (1913)
 
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This man’s spiritual power has been precisely this, that he has distinguished between custom and creed. He has broken the conventions, but he has kept the commandments.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Manalive (1912)
 
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One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, “The Logic of Elfland” (1908)
 
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It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 3, “The Suicide of Thought” (1909)
 
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But the only real reason for being a progressive is that things naturally tend to grow worse. The corruption in things is not only the best argument for being progressive; it is also the only argument against being conservative. The conservative theory would really be quite sweeping and unanswerable if it were not for this one fact. But all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 7 “The Eternal Revolution” (1908)

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The man who cannot believe his senses, and the man who cannot believe anything else, are both insane, but their insanity is proved not by any error in their argument, but by the manifest mistake of their whole lives. They have both locked themselves up in two boxes, painted inside with the sun and stars; they are both unable to get out, the one into the health and happiness of heaven, the other even into the health and happiness of the earth.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 2 (1908)

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Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 3 (1909)
 
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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 Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 4 “The Ethics of Elfland” (1908)
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Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, Ch. 4, “The Ethics of England” (1908)
 
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A man who says that no patriot should attack the Boer War until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying that no good son should warn his mother off a cliff until she has fallen over it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 5 (1908)
 
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You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 7 “The Eternal Revolution” (1908)
 
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There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 7 “The Eternal Revolution” (1908)
 
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JACKSON: Truth is one’s own conception of things.
CHESTERTON: The Big Blunder. All thought is an attempt to discover if one’s own conception is true or not.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Platitudes Undone

commentary on Holbrook Jackson's Platitudes in the Making (1997)
 
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America has never been quite normal.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Sidelights on New London and Newer York (1932)
 
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The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton (1936)
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It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe,” or “Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet.” They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Ball and the Cross, ch. 4 “A Discussion at Dawn” (1909)

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It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Catholic Church and Conversion
 
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It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Cleveland Press (1 Mar 1921)
 
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It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Cleveland Press (1 Mar 1921)
 
Added on 12-Sep-11 | Last updated 12-Sep-11
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For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Coloured Lands (1938)
 
Added on 18-Nov-07 | Last updated 18-Nov-07
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There are some people who state that the exterior, sex, or physique of another person is indifferent to them, that they care only for the communion of mind with mind; but these people need not detain us. There are some statements that no one ever thinks of believing, however often they are made.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Defendant, “A Defence of Ugly Things” (1901)
 
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“My Country, right or wrong” is a thing no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Defendant, ch. 16 “A Defence of Patriotism”
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The function of imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange; not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders.

Chesterton - function of imagination settled things strange facts wonders - wist.info quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Defendant, ch. 7 “A Defence of China Shepherdesses” (1901)
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Added on 14-Dec-21 | Last updated 14-Dec-21
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Silence is the unbearable repartee.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Illustrated London News (30 Sep 1933)
 
Added on 14-Dec-15 | Last updated 14-Dec-15
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