A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

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"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The curse that withers the world, in our particular period and state of culture, is that ordinary people do not give what they used to give or create what they once created. They do nothing but receive; at the best they are critics, and at the worst very uncritical. The Wireless and the Cinema, the newspaper and the newsreel, a score of such enormous modern machines of publicity, pour down their throats, or into their ears and minds, a flood of suggestion in which they have no co-operation, which they do not criticise, and to which they cannot reply. The old output of popular opinion, which came from the talk in the tavern, and began even with the tales in the nursery, has been reversed and silenced; and Governments are ready to give anything and everything, if they can only be reassured with soothing certainly that the people will give nothing.
-September 8, 1934, Illustrated London News

Monday, January 22, 2018

It is now generally agreed, with great cheerfulness and good temper, that one of the chief features of the state of Peace we now enjoy is the killing of a considerable number of harmless human beings [...] and there is nothing wrong with killing when it is not military.
-The Well and the Shallows (1935)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Before remarking on the Rev. Mr. Roberts's article called "Jesus or Christ? it is only fair for me to say that the title affects me personally as would some such title as "Napoleon or Bonaparte"? I can comprehend a nuance of difference between the terms; that one would use the surname in one connection, the imperial name in another. But I could not comprehend a person trying to prove that Napoleon was clever while Bonaparte was stupid, or that Bonaparte was a coward while Napoleon was very brave. If there were no life of General Bonaparte there would (to my narrow and unphilosophic mind) be no legend of Napoleon; his public life may have been more glorious than his private, but it is essential to my sentimental interest that they should both have happened to the same man. In the same way the achievements of Christ as the founder of a Church and the chief deity of a civilisation may be more gigantic and inspiring than His activities in Galilee or Jerusalem. But if the two persons are not one person I lose my existing interest in both of them; one of them is an obscure Rabbi like Hillel, and the other is a myth like Apollo.

But I must make one preliminary explanation, in case I have not understood Mr. Roberts's main design. If Mr. Roberts merely means this: that the Jesus of the Gospels is not enough for all human purposes; that we need more codification and science in our morals than so poetic a vision can give to us,---I agree with him at once. I do not know what deduction he draws; the deduction I draw is that Jesus left on earth not only four lives of Himself, but also a Church and a Catholic tradition. If Jesus means the Gospels and Christ means the Church, and if Mr. Roberts chooses to put it in the form that we need Christ in addition to Jesus, I have no quarrel with him there. But if he means (as I think he certainly does mean) that the Jesus in the Gospel is definitely unreliable and undivine, that He can be convicted of error, that He has been outgrown, then I have a very large and hearty quarrel with Mr. Roberts and it is simply a quarrel about the facts.
-Hibbert Journal (April 1910)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

We look at the rise of Christianity, and conceive it as a rise of self-abnegation and almost of pessimism. It does not occur to us that the mere assertion that this raging and confounding universe is governed by justice and mercy is a piece of staggering optimism fit to set all men capering. The detail over which these monks went mad with joy was the universe itself; the only thing really worthy of enjoyment. The white daylight shone over all the world, the endless forests stood up in their order. The lightning awoke and the tree fell and the sea gathered into mountains and the ship went down, and all these disconnected and meaningless and terrible objects were all part of one dark and fearful conspiracy of goodness, one merciless scheme of mercy. That this scheme of Nature was not accurate or well founded is perfectly tenable, but surely it is not tenable that it was not optimistic. We insist, however, upon treating this matter tail foremost. We insist that the ascetics were pessimists because they gave up threescore years and ten for an eternity of happiness. We forget that the bare proposition of an eternity of happiness is by its very nature ten thousand times more optimistic than ten thousand pagan saturnalias.
-Twelve Types (1902)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Vandalism is of two kinds, the negative and the positive; as in the Vandals of the ancient world, who destroyed buildings, and the Vandals of the modern world who erect them.
-The Common Man (1950)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

But there is a deeper and more disquieting reason why I, for one, will not join in these periodical ramps of righteous indignation [...] To put the matter quite curtly, I will not abuse my neighbours till I can trust my informants. I am quite sure that, as far as the masses are concerned, the indignation is a real indignation; and I have no doubt that in many cases the wrong is a real wrong. But I am not sure by any means that the agitation is always begun with a good motive or directed towards a good end. Unless I know this I may be assisting to build up, behind a screen of petitions, some tyranny or robbery much worse than that against which my signature is being used.
-December 2, 1911, Illustrated London News

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

[...] it has been found again and again in history that locality is almost another name for liberty.
-G.K.C as M.C. (1929)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

For a creed is the sword of the spirit; the only tool with which the mind can fight.
-June 26, 1909, Daily News

Monday, January 15, 2018

"I am staring," said MacIan at last, "at that which shall judge us both."

"Oh, yes," said Turnbull in a tired way, "I suppose you mean God."

"No, I don't," said MacIan, shaking his head. "I mean him."

And he pointed to the half-tipsy yokel who was ploughing down the road.

"What do you mean?" asked the atheist.

"I mean him," repeated MacIan with emphasis. "He goes out in the early dawn; he digs or he ploughs a field. Then he comes back and drinks ale, and then he sings a song. All your philosophies and political systems are young compared to him. All your hoary cathedrals, yes, even the Eternal Church on earth is new compared to him. The most mouldering gods in the British Museum are new facts beside him. It is he who in the end shall judge us all."

And MacIan rose to his feet with a vague excitement.

"What are you going to do?"

"I am going to ask him," cried MacIan, "which of us is right."

Turnbull broke into a kind of laugh. "Ask that intoxicated turnip-eater——" he began.

"Yes—which of us is right," cried MacIan violently. "Oh, you have long words and I have long words; and I talk of every man being the image of God; and you talk of every man being a citizen and enlightened enough to govern. But if every man typifies God, there is God. If every man is an enlightened citizen, there is your enlightened citizen. The first man one meets is always man. Let us catch him up."
-The Ball and the Cross (1909)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Sentimentalist, roughly speaking, is the man who wants to eat his cake and have it.  He has no sense of honour about ideas; he will not see that one must pay for an idea as for anything else. He will not see that any worthy idea, like any honest woman, can only be won on its own terms, and with its logical chain of loyalty. One idea attracts him; another idea really inspires him; a third idea flatters him; a fourth idea pays him. He will have them all at once in one wild intellectual harem, no matter how much they quarrel and contradict each other. The Sentimentalist is a philosophic profligate, who tries to capture every mental beauty without reference to its rival beauties; who will not even be off with the old love before he is on with the new. Thus if a man were to say, “I love this woman, but I may some day find my affinity in some other woman,” he would be a Sentimentalist. He would be saying, “I will eat my wedding-cake and keep it.” Or if a man should say, “I am a Republican, believing in the equality of citizens; but when the Government has given me my peerage I can do infinite good as a kind landlord and a wise legislator”; then that man would be a Sentimentalist. He would be trying to keep at the same time the classic austerity of equality and also the vulgar excitement of an aristocrat. Or if a man should say, “I am in favour of religious equality; but I must preserve the Protestant Succession,” he would be a Sentimentalist of a grosser and more improbable kind.

This is the essence of the Sentimentalist: that he seeks to enjoy every idea without its sequence, and every pleasure without its consequence.
-Alarms and Discursions (1910)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The religion of the Servile State must have no dogmas or definitions. It cannot afford to have any definitions. For definitions are very dreadful things: they do the two things that most men, especially comfortable men, cannot endure. They fight; and they fight fair.

Every religion, apart from open devil worship, must appeal to a virtue or the pretence of a virtue. But a virtue, generally speaking, does some good to everybody. It is therefore necessary to distinguish among the people it was meant to benefit those whom it does benefit. Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else. It was meant to benefit the rich; and meant to benefit nobody else.
-Utopia of Usurers (1917)

Friday, January 12, 2018

There is nothing, to me at least, in the least repulsive about material muck and mire. Nature is dirty; because Nature is dirt. When we were children we made mud pies; if we are artists in pottery we cook mud pies; if we were cherubs we might eat mud pies, for all I know. Indeed, now i come to think of it, we are mud pies ourselves, which perhaps explains it.
-February 11, 1911, Daily News