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 19, 2018

The home, for instance, is partly an inn for rest, and partly a school for education, and partly, again, a temple for the dedication of human souls to some unifying duties of life. Religion, again, has been to humanity not merely a servant, but a maid-of-all work; a cosmic theory; a code of conduct; a system of artistic symbols; a fountain of fascinating tales. And the modern substitutes have all the insane specialisms and general inadequacy [...] The modern world offers me a cosmic theory which cannot be used as a religion, and a school which cannot be used as a home.
-October 23, 1909, Daily News

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Unless Sir Arthur Keith is very badly misreported, he specially stated that spiritual existence ceases with the physical functions; and that no medical man could conscientiously say anything else. However grave be the injury called death (which indeed is often fatal), this strikes me as a case in which it is quite unnecessary to call in a medical man at all [...] The truth is that all this business about "a medical man" is mere bluff and mystagogy. The medical man "sees" that the mind has ceased with the body. What the medical man sees is that the body can no longer kick, talk, sneeze, whistle or dance a jig. And a man does not need to be very medical in order to see that. But whether the principle of energy, that once made it kick, talk, sneeze, whistle and dance, does or does not still exist on some other plane of existence-- a medical man knows no more about that than any other man. And when medical men were clear-headed, some of them (like an ex-surgeon named Thomas Henry Huxley) said they did not believe that medical men or any men could know anything about it. That is an intelligible position; but it does not seem to be Sir Arthur Keith's position. He has been put up publicly to deny that the soul survives the body; and to make the extraordinary remark that any medical man must say the same. It is as if we were to say that any competent builder or surveyor must deny the possibility of the Fourth Dimension; because he has learnt the technical secret that a building is measured by length, breadth and height. The obvious query is--Why bring in a surveyor? Everybody knows that everything is in fact measured by three dimensions. Anybody who thinks there is a fourth dimension thinks so in spite of being well aware that things are generally measured by three. Or it is as if a man were to answer a Berkeleian metaphysician, who holds all matter to be an illusion of mind, by saying, "I can call the evidence of an intelligent navvy who actually has to deal with solid concrete and cast iron; and he will tell you they are quite real." We should naturally answer that we do not need a navvy to tell us that solid things are solid; and it is quite in another sense that the philosopher says they are not solid. Similarly, there is nothing to make a medical man a materialist, except what might make any man a materialist.
-The Thing (1929)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

If our government were really a representative government, it would certainly not be a meddlesome government. No man wants a merely meddlesome law applied to himself; and most men are sufficiently generous to apply the golden rule at least so far as it is concerned with leaving alone and being left alone.
-November 15, 1924, Illustrated London News

Monday, July 16, 2018

Euphemisms

We are perpetually being told that this rising generation is very frank and free, and that its whole social ideal is frankness and freedom. Now I am not at all afraid of frankness. What I am afraid of is fickleness [...] There is in the very titles and terminology of all this sort of thing a pervading element of falsehood. Everything is to be called something that it is not [...] Every thing is to be recommended to the public by some sort of synonym which is really a pseudonym. It is a talent that goes with the time of electioneering and advertisement and newspaper headlines; but what ever else such a time may be, it certainly is not specially a time of truth. In short, these friends of frankness depend almost entirely on Euphemism. They introduce their horrible heresies under new and carefully complimentary names; as the Furies were called the Eumenides. The names are always flattery; the names are also nonsense.There really seems no necessary limit to the process; and however far the anarchy of ethics may go, it may always be accompanied with this curious and pompous ceremonial. The sensitive youth of the future will never be called upon to accept Forgery as Forgery. It will be easy enough to call it Homoeography or Script-Assimilation or something else that would suggest, to the simple or the superficial, that nothing was involved but a sort of socializing or unification of individual handwriting

Anyhow, I respectfully refuse to be impressed by the claim to candour and realism put forward just now for men, women, and movements. It seems to me obvious that this is not really the age of audacity but merely of advertisement; which may rather be described as caution kicking up a fuss. When somebody wishes to wage a social war against what all normal people have regarded as a social decency, the very first thing he does is to find some artificial term that shall sound relatively decent. He has no more of the real courage that would pit vice against virtue than the ordinary advertiser has the courage to advertise ale as arsenic. His intelligence, such as it is, is entirely a commercial intelligence and to that extent entirely conventional. He is a shop-keeper who dresses the shop-window; he is certainly the very reverse of a rebel or a rioter who breaks the shop-window. With the passions which are natural to youth we all sympathize; with the pain that often arises from loyalty and duty we all sympathize still more; but nobody need sympathize with publicity experts picking pleasant expressions for unpleasant things; and I for one prefer the coarse language of our fathers.
-Come to Think of It (1930)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

We are the superiors by that silliest and most snobbish of all superiorities, the mere aristocracy of time  All works must become thus old and insipid which have ever tried to be "modern," which have consented to smell of time rather than of eternity. Only those who have stooped to be in advance of their time will ever find themselves behind it.
-George Bernard Shaw (1909)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A piece of peculiarly bad advice is constantly given to modern writers, especially to modern theologians: that they should adapt themselves to the spirit of the age. If there is one thing that has made shipwreck of mankind from the beginning it has been the spirit of the age, which always means exaggerating still further something that is grossly exaggerated already.
-Lunacy and Letters (1958)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Another savage trait of our time is the disposition to talk about material substances instead of about ideas. The old civilisation talked about the sin of gluttony or excess. We talk about the Problem of Drink—as if drink could be a problem [...] The people who talk about the curse of drink will probably progress down that dark hill. In a little while we shall have them calling the practice of wife-beating the Problem of Pokers; the habit of housebreaking will be called the Problem of the Skeleton-Key Trade; and for all I know they may try to prevent forgery by shutting up all the stationers’ shops by Act of Parliament.
-All Things Considered (1908)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I am not urging a lop-sided idolatry of the past; I am protesting against [a] lop-sided idolatry of the present.
-September 5, 1925, Illustrated London News

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

For ours is the age of idols. Whenever religion is seriously weakened it is not only true that idolatry may follow; it is true that idolatry must follow. Religion is, in one form or another, a love of the universal power. The moment men cease to feel that love, they throw the whole joy and violence of it into loving something that is not universal. They have killed the King of Heaven and Earth, and they have to do something with the regalia. So instead of thinking all things good for universal purposes, they begin to think some things good for their own sake, which is idolatry.
-May 25, 1904, Daily News

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

[...] the thing was discussed purely as a party question; that is, it was not really discussed at all. A clatter of mechanical retorts and rejoinders, far more like clockwork than the regular gambits in chess or the regular parties in fencing, drowned the noise of all natural and sincere appeals to sense [...]
-Daily News, January 20, 1912
 [A quote quite appropriate to any number of controversies of today...]

Monday, July 9, 2018

It is nothing that a man dwells on the darkness of dark things; all healthy men do that. It is when he dwells on the darkness of bright things that we have reason to fear some disease of the emotions.
-Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens (1911)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

[...] nothing is more materialistic than to reserve our horror chiefly for material wounds.
-Heretics (1905)