Quotation Explorer - 'G.K. Chesterton'

Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone must tell us what to say. - G.K. Chesterton
The things said most confidently by advanced persons to crowded audiences are generally those opposite to the fact; it is actually our truisms that are untrue. - G.K. Chesterton
Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity. - G.K. Chesterton
Are you a devil?""I am a man," answered Father Brown gravely; "and therefore have all devils in my heart. - G.K. Chesterton
If you let loose a law, it willdo as a dog does. It will obey its own nature, not yours. Suchsense as you have put into the law (or the dog) will be fulfilled.But you will not be able to fulfil a fragment of anything you haveforgotten to put into it. - G.K. Chesterton
The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons, but children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed. - G.K. Chesterton
The Reformer is always right about what's wrong. However, he's often wrong about what is right. - G.K. Chesterton
I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller - G.K. Chesterton
The difference between the poet and the mathematician is that the poet tries to get his head into the heavens while the mathematician tries to get the heavens into his head. - G.K. Chesterton
Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist. - G.K. Chesterton
Latter-day scepticism is fond of calling itself progressive; but scepticism is really reactionary. Scepticism goes back; it attempts to unsettle what has already been settled. Instead of trying to break up new fields with its plough, it simply tries to break up the plough. - G.K. Chesterton
Romance is the deepest thing in life. It is deeper than reality. - G.K. Chesterton
Men of science offer us health, an obvious benefit; it is only afterwards that we discover that by health, they mean bodily slavery and spiritual tedium. - G.K. Chesterton
The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. - G.K. Chesterton
A man must be prepared not only to be a martyr, but to be a fool. It is absurd to say that a man is ready to toil and die for his convictions if he is not even ready to wear a wreathe around his head for them. - G.K. Chesterton
If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. - G.K. Chesterton
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed. - G.K. Chesterton
The books that influence the world are those that it has not read. - G.K. Chesterton
The most sacred thing is to be able to shut your own door. - G.K. Chesterton
Unless a man becomes the enemy of an evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion. - G.K. Chesterton
There is the great lesson of 'Beauty and the Beast,' that a thing must be loved before it is lovable. - G.K. Chesterton
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. - G.K. Chesterton
It [feminism] is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands. - G.K. Chesterton
The huge modern heresy is to alter the human soul to fit modern social conditions, instead of altering modern social conditions to fit the human soul. - G.K. Chesterton
Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified. - G.K. Chesterton
In other words, we may, by fixing our attention almost fiercely on the facts actually before us, force them to turn into adventures; force them to give up their meaning and fulfill their mysterious purpose. - G.K. Chesterton
There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. - G.K. Chesterton
But it is clear that no political activity can be encouraged by saying that progress is natural and inevitable; that is not a reason for being active, but rather a reason for being lazy. - G.K. Chesterton
I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else. - G.K. Chesterton
London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation. - G.K. Chesterton
That is the one eternal education: to be sure enough that something is true that you dare to tell it to a child. - G.K. Chesterton
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. - G.K. Chesterton
To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it. - G.K. Chesterton
The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. - G.K. Chesterton
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. - G.K. Chesterton
Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate. - G.K. Chesterton
Whatever we may think of the merits of torturing children for pleasure, and no doubt there is much to be said on both sides, I am sure we all agree that it should be done with sterilized instruments. - G.K. Chesterton
There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell. - G.K. Chesterton
Truth must necessarily be stranger than fiction; for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it. - G.K. Chesterton
The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous. - G.K. Chesterton
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. - G.K. Chesterton
She(Joan of Arc) put her dreams and her sentiment into her aims, where they ought to be; she put her practicality into her practice. Ine modern Imperial wars, the case is reversed. Our dreams, our aims are always, we insist, quite practical. It is our practice that is dreamy. - G.K. Chesterton
There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people. - G.K. Chesterton
Once men sang together round a table in chorus; now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason that he can sing better. If our civilization goes on like this, only one man will laugh, because he can laugh better than the rest. - G.K. Chesterton
All we know of the Missing Link is that he is missing - and he won't be missed either. - G.K. Chesterton
The issue is now quite clear. It is between light and darkness and every one must choose his side. - G.K. Chesterton
It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it. - G.K. Chesterton
For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything. - G.K. Chesterton
There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read. - G.K. Chesterton
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. - G.K. Chesterton
How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it. - G.K. Chesterton
The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
Culture, like science, is no protection against demons. - G.K. Chesterton
Variability is one of the virtues of a woman. It avoids the crude requirement of polygamy. So long as you have one good wife you are sure to have a spiritual harem". - G.K. Chesterton
Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hears men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? - G.K. Chesterton
The dreadful joy Thy Son has sentIs heavier than any care;We find, as Cain his punishment,Our pardon more than we can bear. - G.K. Chesterton
Bad is so bad, that we cannot but think good an accident; good is so good, that we feel certain that evil could be explained. - G.K. Chesterton
We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders. - G.K. Chesterton
No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete. - G.K. Chesterton
The real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. - G.K. Chesterton
Just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree. - G.K. Chesterton
Christianity and Buddhism are very much alike, especially Buddhism. - G.K. Chesterton
Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. - G.K. Chesterton
We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man's terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God. - G.K. Chesterton
As to the doubt of the soul I discover it to be false: a mood not a conclusion. My conclusion is the Faith. Corporate, organized, a personality, teaching. A thing, not a theory. It. - G.K. Chesterton
I left the fairy tales lying on the floor of the nursery, and I have not found any books so sensible since. - G.K. Chesterton
[T]he most comic things of all are exactly the things most worth doing--such as making love. - G.K. Chesterton
People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are. - G.K. Chesterton
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. - G.K. Chesterton
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. It does much more than that, it tells us the truth about its readers; and, oddly enough, it tells us this all the more the more cynical and immoral be the motive of its manufacture. - G.K. Chesterton
To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once. - G.K. Chesterton
If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. - G.K. Chesterton
Humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle. - G.K. Chesterton
There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book, and a tired man who wants a book to read. - G.K. Chesterton
If one is talking about a vile thing it is better to talk of it in coarse language; one is less likely to be seduced into excusing it. - G.K. Chesterton
Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. - G.K. Chesterton
The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion. - G.K. Chesterton
El único magno crimen del Gobierno esta en el hecho de que gobierne. El pecado imperdonable del poder supremo está en que es supremo - G.K. Chesterton
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. - G.K. Chesterton
But if I want to murder somebody, will it really be the best plan to make sure I'm alone with him?'Lord Pooley's eyes recovered their frosty twinkle as he looked at the little clergyman. He only said: 'If you want to murder somebody, I should advise it. - G.K. Chesterton
Strike a glass and it will not endure an instant. Simply do not strike it and it will endure a thousand years. - G.K. Chesterton
Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. - G.K. Chesterton
What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world. - G.K. Chesterton
For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy. - G.K. Chesterton
Family is the theatre of the spiritual drama, the place where things happen, especially the things that matter. - G.K. Chesterton
We talk of wild animals but man is the only wild animal. It is man that has broken out. All other animals are tame animals; following the rugged respectability of the tribe or type. - G.K. Chesterton
When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. - G.K. Chesterton
He understood (what so many fautlessly 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. - G.K. Chesterton
I always like a dog so long as he isn't spelled backward. - G.K. Chesterton
But there is in everything a reasonable division of labour. I have written the book, and nothing on earth would induce me to read it. - G.K. Chesterton
Ten thousand women marched through the streets shouting, 'We will not be dictated to,' and went off and became stenographers. - G.K. Chesterton
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people. - G.K. Chesterton
The word "good" has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man. - G.K. Chesterton
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. - G.K. Chesterton
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated. - G.K. Chesterton
There is no way in which a man can earn a star or deserve a sunset. - G.K. Chesterton
As regards moral courage, then, it is not so much that the public schools support it feebly, as that they suppress it firmly. - G.K. Chesterton
A strange fanaticism fills our time: the fanatical hatred of morality, especially of Christian morality. - G.K. Chesterton
The true soldier fights - G.K. Chesterton
It was his home now. But it could not be his home till he had gone from it and returned to it. Now he was the Prodigal Son. - G.K. Chesterton
Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her. - G.K. Chesterton
There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. - G.K. Chesterton
I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it. - G.K. Chesterton
Brown paper represents the primal twilight of the first toil of creation, and with a bright-coloured chalk or two you can pick out points of fire in it, sparks of gold, and blood-red, and sea-green, like the first fierce stars that sprang out of divine darkness. - G.K. Chesterton
There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats Grape-Nuts on principle. - G.K. Chesterton
Job is an optimist. He shakes the pillars of the world and strikes insanely at the heavens; he lashes the stars, but it is not to silence them; it is to make them speak. - G.K. Chesterton
Free verse is like free love; it is a contradiction in terms. - G.K. Chesterton
When men have come to the edge of a precipice, it is the lover of life who has the spirit to leap backwards, and only the pessimist who continues to believe in progress. - G.K. Chesterton
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