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

There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.

There are two ways of renouncing the devil, said Father Brown; and the difference is perhaps the deepest chasm in modern religion. One is to have a horror of him because he is so far off; and the other to have it because he is so near. And no virtue and vice are so much divided as those two virtues.

There is not really any courage at all in attacking hoary or antiquated things, any more than in offering to fight one’s grandmother. The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past.

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords, lords without anger and honor, who dare not carry their swords. They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes; they look at our labor and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.

There are only two kinds of social structure conceivable – personal government and impersonal government. If my anarchic friends will not have rules – they will have rulers. Preferring personal government, with its tact and flexibility, is called Royalism. Preferring impersonal government, with its dogmas and definitions, is called Republicanism. Objecting broadmindedly both to kings and creeds is called Bosh.

There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.

There is nothing harder to learn than painting and nothing which most people take less trouble about learning.

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.

There are only two ways of governing: by a rule and by a ruler.

There have been household gods and household saints and household fairies. I am not sure that there have yet been any factory gods or factory saints or factory fairies. I may be wrong, as I am no commercial expert, but I have not heard of them as yet.

There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong.

They haven't got no noses the fallen sons of Eve; even the smell of roses is not what they supposes; but more than mind discloses and more than men believe.

There are some desires that are not desirable.

There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth.

There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.

They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my childlike faith in practical politics.

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. ... We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether in the long run, anything else affects them.

There is a corollary to the conception of being too proud to fight. It is that the humble have to do most of the fighting.

There is only one thing that can never go past a certain point in its alliance with oppression--and that is orthodoxy. I may, it is true, twist orthodoxy so as partly to justify a tyrant. But I can easily make up a German philosophy to justify him entirely.

They shall come mild as monkish clerks, with many a scroll and pen; and backward shall ye turn and gaze, desiring one of Alfred's days, when pagans still were men

The only people who seem to have nothing to do with the education of the children are the parents.

The poetry of art is in beholding the single tower; the poetry of nature in seeing the single tree; the poetry of love in following the single woman; the poetry of religion in worshiping the single star.

The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.

The successful business man sometimes makes his money by ability and experience; but he generally makes it by mistake.

The vulgar man is always the most distinguished, for the very desire to be distinguished is vulgar.

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