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G. K. Chesterton quotes page 3

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

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference which is an elegant name for ignorance.
G. K. Chesterton

Customs are generally unselfish. Habits are nearly always selfish.
G. K. Chesterton

One of his hobbies was to wait for the American Shakespeare - a hobby more patient than
angling.
G. K. Chesterton

What a man can believe depends upon his philosophy, not upon the clock or the century.
G. K. Chesterton

You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
G. K. Chesterton

Wit is a fighting thing and a working thing. A man may enjoy humour all by himself; he may
see a joke when no one else sees it; he may see the point and avoid it. But wit is a sword; it
is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it. All honest people saw the point of
Mark Twain's wit. Not a few dishonest people felt it.
G. K. Chesterton

The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.
G. K. Chesterton

A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
G. K. Chesterton

Always be comic in a tragedy. What the deuce else can you do?
G. K. Chesterton

You should not look a gift universe in the mouth.
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 the Conservatives is to prevent
the mistakes from being corrected.
G. K. Chesterton

There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.
G. K. Chesterton

Romance is the deepest thing in life. It is deeper than reality.
G. K. Chesterton

It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.
G. K. Chesterton

America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth in
the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also
great literature.
G. K. Chesterton

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
G. K. Chesterton

All government is an ugly necessity.
G. K. Chesterton

Silver is sometimes more valuable than gold, that is, in large quantities.
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

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.
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

Religious and philosophical beliefs are, indeed, as dangerous as fire, and nothing can take from
them that beauty of danger.
G. K. Chesterton

The materialist's world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane.
G. K. Chesterton

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left
untried.
G. K. Chesterton

Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us
about a million men.
G. K. Chesterton

In the majority of sane human lives there is no problem of sex at all; there is no problem of
marriage at all; there is no problem of temperament at all; for all these problems are dwarfed
and rendered ridiculous by the standing problem of being a moderately honest man and paying
the butcher.
G. K. Chesterton

The things we see every day are the things we never see at all.
G. K. Chesterton

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

The central idea of poetry is the idea of guessing right, like a child.
G. K. Chesterton

The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
G. K. Chesterton

Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the
world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of
a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is
stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front...
G. K. Chesterton

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.
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

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