Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotes

- Notable Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotes Index -

Born: May 29, 1874, London, England, UK
Birth Country: UK
Died: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, UK, June 14, 1936
Occupation: Author

1.
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

2.
A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

3.
A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

4.
A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

5.
All architecture is great architecture after sunset perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

6.
All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

7.
All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

8.
Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

9.
Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

10.
Brave men are all vertebrates they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

11.
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

12.
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

13.
Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

14.
Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

15.
Experience which was once claimed by the aged is now claimed exclusively by the young.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

16.
Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

17.
Half a truth is better than no politics.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

18.
Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

19.
Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

20.
I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

21.
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

22.
I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

23.
I was planning to go into architecture. But when I arrived, architecture was filled up. Acting was right next to it, so I signed up for acting instead.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

24.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

25.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

26.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

27.
It is not funny that anything else should fall down only that a man should fall down. Why do we laugh? Because it is a gravely religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

28.
It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

29.
Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

30.
Love means to love that which is unlovable or it is no virtue at all.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

31.
Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

32.
Man does not live by soap alone and hygiene, or even health, is not much good unless you can take a healthy view of it or, better still, feel a healthy indifference to it.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

33.
Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If he is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

34.
Man seems to be capable of great virtues but not of small virtues capable of defying his torturer but not of keeping his temper.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

35.
Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

36.
Men always talk about the most important things to perfect strangers. In the perfect stranger we perceive man himself the image of a God is not disguised by resemblances to an uncle or doubts of wisdom of a mustache.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

37.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

38.
Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

39.
No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

40.
Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long and the age of the great epics is past.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

41.
One sees great things from the valley only small things from the peak.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

42.
People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

43.
Science in the modern world has many uses its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

44.
Some men never feel small, but these are the few men who are.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

45.
The family is the test of freedom because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

46.
The man who throws a bomb is an artist, because he prefers a great moment to everything.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

47.
The most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

48.
The only defensible war is a war of defense.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

49.
The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

50.
The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

51.
The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

52.
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

53.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

54.
The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden heaven is a playground.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

55.
The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

56.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

57.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

58.
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

59.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

60.
Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

61.
To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

62.
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

63.
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 that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

64.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

65.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

66.
We make our friends we make our enemies but God makes our next door neighbour.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

67.
What affects men sharply about a foreign nation is not so much finding or not finding familiar things it is rather not finding them in the familiar place.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

68.
When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

69.
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

70.
White... is not a mere absence of colour it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black... God paints in many colours but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

71.
Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

72.
Women prefer to talk in twos, while men prefer to talk in threes.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

73.
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.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

Quotes by Gilbert K. Chesterton

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