Quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, G.K. Chesterton
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
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.
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.