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.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

"The really practical statesman does not fit himself to existing conditions, he denounces the conditions as unfit."

Let us ask ourselves first what we really do want, not what recent legal decisions have told us to want, or recent logical philosophies proved that we must want, or recent social prophecies predicted that we shall some day want [...] The really good journeyman tailor does not cut his coat according to his cloth; he asks for more cloth. The really practical statesman does not fit himself to existing conditions, he denounces the conditions as unfit. History is like some deeply planted tree which, though gigantic in girth, tapers away at last into tiny twigs; and we are in the topmost branches. Each of us is trying to bend the tree by a twig: to alter England through a distant colony, or to capture the State through a small State department, or to destroy all voting through a vote. In all such bewilderment he is wise who resists this temptation of trivial triumph or surrender, and happy (in an echo of the Roman poet) who remembers the roots of things.
-A Miscellany of Men (1912)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

For our judges are not hampered by any hide-bound code; they are progressive [...], and ally themselves on principle with the progressive forces of the age, especially those they are likely to meet out at dinner.
-Tales of the Long Bow (1925)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Piety has anticipated all profanities."

All that the most terrible blasphemer has to say is tame and timid compared with what we have to say. You may sweep the gutters for foul jokes, but you cannot say anything more frightful than that God was made flesh. Piety has anticipated all profanities. All the profane speakers I have ever heard have only been engaged in expounding and elaborating in detail, and perhaps with some dullness, the plain epigram of the Incarnation. The saints made the joke; the blasphemers only explain it. You may laugh if you see fit; but before you were the heavens laughed louder than you, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
-January 11, 1908, Daily News

Monday, July 18, 2016

Most modern notions of the earlier and better Middle Ages are drawn either from historians or from novels. The novels are very much the more reliable of the two. The novelist has at least to try to describe human beings; which the historian often does not even attempt.
-Lunacy and Letters
(collection of essays published posthumously in 1958)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

" 'Hide and Seek' is the greatest of games..."

High above [other games], and at the head of another class, towers the great and Royal game of "Hide and Seek," the noblest of all earthly games, and the game that includes all others. How the majority of men and women in this world can waste their time in childish amusement, such as golf and rabbit-shooting, while neglecting pastime of the gods, is indeed one of the riddles of existence. "Hide and Seek" is the greatest of games, because, like war, it has the whole earth for its chess-board. Every object of the landscape, tree or hole or hedge, has, like a huge chess-man, its own peculiar powers and functions in the game. A tree may be valuable because it is high, a wall because it is low, a bank because it is slippery, a rock because it is firm. The game includes planning, thinking, remembering, inventing, running, climbing, jumping, seeing, hearing, and waiting. The player has the emotions of all the outlaws since the world began. We may think long and hard before any of us can understand why this great terrestrial warfare, this ancient and earth-born strategy, should be considered childish, knocking little balls about with sticks considered manly. "Hide and Seek" is surely a greater thing than the absurd shooting of tiny little beasts and birds, which does not, to the really sportsmanlike spirit, differ very much from shooting bluebottles. For "Hide and Seek" is the noblest of all sports and chases, the hunting of man.
-November 30, 1901, The Speaker

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"... the Crucifixion of a Deity makes impossible a supercilious attitude towards failure and defeat."

Those orthodox dogmas which Mr. Thomas regards dubiously are valued by those who believe them, not only as philosophical truths, but also as moral standards and guarantees. They not only occupy the intellect, but they prevent it from being occupied by certain idle or insane suggestions to which the human mind is prone. Satan finds some mischief still for open minds to think. Thus, the goodness of God makes impossible the evil thing called despair. Thus the Incarnation makes impossible a mere priggish contempt for the flesh; and thus the Crucifixion of a Deity makes impossible a supercilious attitude towards failure and defeat.
-March 26, 1910, Daily News

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

...the new sentiment of humanitarianism has come, when the old sentiment of aristocracy has not gone. Social superiors have not really lost any old privileges; they have gained new privileges, including that of being superior in philosophy and philanthropy as well as in riches and refinement. No revolution has shaken their secret security or menaced them with the awful peril of becoming no more than men. Therefore their social reform is but their social refinement grown restless.
-The Uses of Diversity (1921)

Monday, July 11, 2016

The mountain tops are only noble because from them we are privileged to behold the plains. So the only value in any man being superior is that he may have a superior admiration for the level and the common. If there is any profit in a place craggy and precipitous it is only because from the vale it is not easy to see all the beauty of the vale; because when actually in the flats one cannot see their sublime and satisfying flatness. If there is any value in being educated or eminent (which is doubtful enough) it is only because the best instructed man may feel most swiftly and certainly the splendour of the ignorant and the simple: the full magnificence of that mighty human army in the plains. The general goes up to the hill to look at his soldiers, not to look down at his soldiers. He withdraws himself not because his regiment is too small to be touched, but because it is too mighty to be seen. The chief climbs with submission and goes higher with great humility; since in order to take a bird's eye view of everything, he must become small and distant like a bird.
-Alarms and Discursions (1910)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"...the drum that is beaten loudly must be hollow."

No image can express the amazing state of our politics. But the image that comes nearest to being a key to everything is this: that the drum that is beaten loudly must be hollow. In England today the question that is disputed loudly must be empty. It may excite; it may inspire; it may really divide; it may really educate; but it must not exist. That is, it must not engage the souls of the people prominently debating it, though it may be really important to some remote people they are supposed to be debating about.
-September 14, 1912, Illustrated London News

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tradition does not mean [...] that the living are dead but that the dead are alive.
-What I Saw in America (1922)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

That increasing number of intellectuals, who are content to say that Democracy has been a failure, miss the point of the far more disastrous calamity that Plutocracy has been a success. I mean it has been the only sort of success it could be; for Plutocracy has no philosophy or morals or even meaning; it can only be a material success, that is, a base success. Plutocracy can only mean the success of plutocrats in being plutocrats [...] With Democracy the case is exactly the reverse. We may say, with some truth, that Democracy has failed; but we shall only mean that Democracy has failed to exist.
-Autobiography (1936)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The healthy doctrine of liberty, for which we are supposed to stand, is not really perplexing to the mind, though, like many other good things, it is partly a paradox. The two parts of the doctrine are these: first, that there are some things in which a man ought to be interfered with by force, and some things in which he ought emphatically to be left alone; and second, that the things he is permitted to do must often be worse than the things he is forbidden to do. A lady's sneer in a smoking carriage may be much more offensive than a gentleman's cigar in a non-smoking carriage. But the collective strength of mankind is capable of taking the cigar out of the gentleman's mouth. Whereas nothing short of racks and red-hot pincers and the most fiendish torment could take the sneer out of the mouth of the lady. The things are different in kind; and to remember that is to keep the civilized instinct of liberty. The man's cigar is incendiary; like a firebrand or a blazing bomb. The man's cigar is a kind of physical assault; and suppressing it is only preserving social order. The lady's smile is a department of devil-worship; and respecting it is religious toleration.
-Februay 12, 1910, Daily News