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Gilbert K. Chesterton's Quotes

Gilbert K. Chesterton profile photo

Born: 1970-01-01
Profession: Writer
Nation: English
Biography of Gilbert K. Chesterton

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I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

Tags: Advice, Best, Success

It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.

Tags: Problem, Solution

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.

Tags: Good, Him, Word

Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.

Tags: Love, Means, Virtue

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.

Tags: Less, Life, Sense

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

Tags: Clouds, Imagination, Rules

Youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged.

Tags: Great, Knowledge, Power

The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.

Tags: Poor, Rich, Sometimes

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.

Tags: Courage, Die, Strong

The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.

Tags: Family, Free, Freedom

If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.

Tags: Against, Preach, Pride

No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete.

Tags: Best, Complete, Education

I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.

Tags: Cities, Found, Parks

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.

Tags: Bad, Good, Truth

An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.

Tags: Adventure, Considered, Wrongly

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.

Tags: Christian, Difficult, Found

A puritan is a person who pours righteous indignation into the wrong things.

Tags: Puritan, Righteous, Wrong

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.

Tags: May, Respect, Wish

The simplification of anything is always sensational.

Tags: Democracy, Giving, Politics

Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.

Tags: Art, Beautiful, Picture

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

Tags: Earth, Exist, Subject

A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice.

Tags: Means, Old, Philosophy

People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.

Tags: Argue, Cannot, Quarrel

A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.

Tags: Simply, Teacher, Teaching

Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers is another.

Tags: Another, Life, Seen

A businessman is the only man who is forever apologizing for his occupation.

Tags: Forever, Occupation
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The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind.

Tags: Health, Mind, Trying

Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kid of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty.

Tags: Kid, Perhaps, Worst

I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.

Tags: Golf, Playing, Sports

The perplexity of life arises from there being too many interesting things in it for us to be interested properly in any of them.

Tags: Interested, Life, Perplexity

A yawn is a silent shout.

Tags: Shout, Silent, Yawn

Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.

Tags: Education, Period, Somebody

It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.

Tags: Good, Joke, Religion

A man does not know what he is saying until he knows what he is not saying.

Tags: Knows, Saying, Until

How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.

Tags: Lose, Until, Win

The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.

Tags: Again, Mind, Mouth

The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.

Tags: Courage, Keep, Life

The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense.

Tags: Common, Education, Purpose

The most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men.

Tags: Him, Men, Moral

The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land.

Tags: Country, Travel, Whole

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.

Tags: Book, Great, Tired

All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.

Tags: Architecture, Art, Great

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

Tags: Badly, Worth

You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.

Tags: Democracy, Order, Revolution

Coincidences are spiritual puns.

Tags: Puns, Spiritual

Half a truth is better than no politics.

Tags: Half, Politics, Truth

Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.

Tags: Brave, Men, Middle

Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.

Tags: Drink, Happy, Miserable

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.

Tags: God, Life, Woman

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

Tags: Friends, God, Makes

With any recovery from morbidity there must go a certain healthy humiliation.

Tags: Healthy, Recovery

Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

Tags: Education, Seriously, Taking

Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.

Tags: Happiness, Mystery, Religion

It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.

Tags: Enjoy, Healthy, Sentiment

All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.

Tags: Metaphor, Poetry, Slang

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

Tags: Fact, Men, Million

If you do not understand a man you cannot crush him. And if you do understand him, very probably you will not.

Tags: Cannot, Him, Understand

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

Tags: Enough, Money, Stupid

Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.

Tags: Alive, Dead, Saying

Man seems to be capable of great virtues but not of small virtues; capable of defying his torturer but not of keeping his temper.

Tags: Great, Seems, Small

The whole order of things is as outrageous as any miracle which could presume to violate it.

Tags: Miracle, Order, Whole

There is but an inch of difference between a cushioned chamber and a padded cell.

Tags: Between, Cell, Difference

We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.

Tags: Call, End, Thought

The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.

Tags: Idea, Leaving, Real

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.

Tags: Good, Manners, Mean

Artistic temperament is the disease that afflicts amateurs.

Tags: Artistic, Disease

Chastity does not mean abstention from sexual wrong; it means something flaming, like Joan of Arc.

Tags: Mean, Means, Wrong

Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.

Tags: Free, Him, May

In matters of truth the fact that you don't want to publish something is, nine times out of ten, a proof that you ought to publish it.

Tags: Fact, Times, Truth

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.

Tags: Fiction, Literature, Necessity

Some men never feel small, but these are the few men who are.

Tags: Few, Men, Small

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

Tags: Adventure, Considered, Rightly

Buddhism is not a creed, it is a doubt.

Tags: Buddhism, Creed, Doubt

Experience which was once claimed by the aged is now claimed exclusively by the young.

Tags: Experience, Once, Young

Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.

Tags: Both, Insult, Music

Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear. It annoys them very much.

Tags: Appear, Gods, Unless

People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.

Tags: History

The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.

Tags: Forget, Rich, Sometimes

The only defensible war is a war of defense.

Tags: Defense, War

The present condition of fame is merely fashion.

Tags: Fame, Fashion, Present

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

Tags: Desire, Vulgar

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

Tags: Eye, Heart, Road

When we really worship anything, we love not only its clearness but its obscurity. We exult in its very invisibility.

Tags: Love, Obscurity, Worship

And they that rule in England, in stately conclaves met, alas, alas for England they have no graves as yet.

Tags: England, Graves, Rule

Large organization is loose organization. Nay, it would be almost as true to say that organization is always disorganization.

Tags: Almost, Large, True

New roads; new ruts.

Tags: Roads, Ruts

Nothing is poetical if plain daylight is not poetical; and no monster should amaze us if the normal man does not amaze.

Tags: Daylight, Monster, Normal

Ritual will always mean throwing away something: destroying our corn or wine upon the altar of our gods.

Tags: Away, Mean, Wine

Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.

Tags: Rich, Science, Words

The cosmos is about the smallest hole that a man can hide his head in.

Tags: Head, Hide, Hole

The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life.

Tags: Life, Ultimate, Victor

The man who throws a bomb is an artist, because he prefers a great moment to everything.

Tags: Artist, Great, Moment

The mere brute pleasure of reading the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.

Tags: Cow, Pleasure, Reading

The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before.

Tags: Catching, Miss, Train

What people call impartiality may simply mean indifference, and what people call partiality may simply mean mental activity.

Tags: Call, May, Mean

Women prefer to talk in twos, while men prefer to talk in threes.

Tags: Men, Talk, Women

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.

Tags: Injustice, Men, Poor

'My country, right or wrong' is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'

Tags: Drunk, Mother, Saying

A radical generally meant a man who thought he could somehow pull up the root without affecting the flower. A conservative generally meant a man who wanted to conserve everything except his own reason for conserving anything.

Tags: Flower, Reason, Thought

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.

Tags: Getting, Power, True
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