G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

G. K.
Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton
1874
1936

English Journalist, Humorist, Essayist, Novelist and Poet

Author Quotes

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.

We have never even begun to understand a people until we have found something that we do not understand. So long as we find the character easy to read, we are reading into it our own character.

Tradition is only democracy extended through time.

We all have a little weakness, which is very natural but rather misleading, for supposing that this epoch must be the end of the world because it will be the end of us. How future generations will get on without us is indeed, when we come to think of it, quite a puzzle. But I suppose they will get on somehow, and may possibly venture to revise our judgments as we have revised earlier judgments.

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.

To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

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.

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.

We have to feel the universe at once as an ogre's castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return at evening.

To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance.

True contentment ... is getting out of any situation all that there is in it.

We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.

We lose our bearings entirely by speaking of the ‘lower classes’ when we mean humanity minus ourselves.

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.

True contentment is a real, even an active virtue – not only affirmative but creative. It is the power of getting out of any situation all there is in it.

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.

We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbor.

To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school.

True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.

We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were too proud to be convinced; but these are too humble to be convinced. The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern skeptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance.

We ought to be interested in that darkest and most real part of a man in which dwell not the vices that he does not display, but the virtues that he cannot.

To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.

True contentment is the power of getting of any situation all that there is in it.

We are perhaps permitted tragedy as a sort of merciful comedy: because the frantic energy of divine things would knock us down like a drunken farce. We can take our own tears more lightly than we could take the tremendous levities of the angels. So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear.

We ought to see far enough into a hypocrite to see even his sincerity.

Author Picture
First Name
G. K.
Last Name
Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Birth Date
1874
Death Date
1936
Bio

English Journalist, Humorist, Essayist, Novelist and Poet