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)

Monday, January 20, 2014

"All this being stated....to the credit of Mr. Brooks, I hope there will be no ill-feeling if I state...that he ought to be shot as a traitor.

I know nothing of Mr. Sydney Brooks, except that he has written one article which was good, and two novels that are possibly better. He is certainly a sincere observer and sometimes a true one—though it is not at all the same thing.- I am practically certain (reading between the lines) that he had no motive lower than the just love and laudation of the country to which he and I belong. His patriotism is sound and even his jingoism is sincere. All this being stated, and stated seriously, to the credit of Mr. Brooks, I hope there will be no ill-feeling if I state, equally seriously, that he ought to be shot as a traitor.

Let me explain. The great and real fun of growing old is that the world grows young. Especially in this: that the truisms all begin to come true. And this again is especially true of a thing we have all known ad nauseam: that excess in any indulgence is suicidal and destroys itself. Thus we have all heard that the drunkard is a nuisance to the moderate drinker: that the fanatic troubles true religion: and, in the same way, that the Jingo or Chauvinist or Spread-Eagle Patriot is really the worst enemy of patriotism. But in our youth we always fancied it was merely a matter of degree. We were under the delusion that a drunkard was a man who drank too much. We fancied a fanatic was one who believed in heaven too much. And in the same way we thought a swaggering patriot was one who cared rather too much for his country.

It is not so. There is much more than this in the conception of mortal sin; of the excess that turns and strikes and kills the very soul that is driving it on. Drunkenness is not only the enemy of‘sobriety. Drunkenness is quite literally the enemy of drink. The sole meaning, the sole justification, of festive fermented liquor is that it is meant for feasts; for certain hours of the day or occasions of the national custom. To extend it over all hours of the day is to abolish it. You veto a luxury by making it a necessity as much as by making it a crime. It was the pleasure of the Deity, at a high feast, to turn water into wine. It is the daily business of the dipsomaniac to turn wine into water...

I have taken these cases, the drunkard who destroys drink, the fanatic who destroys faith, merely to show that I do solidly and universally mean what I say, when I say that such English Jingoes as Mr. Sydney Brooks may very soon destroy England. He is not belauding or belittling his country; he is simply betraying her. By writing an article like “The Conquering English,” he is, quite literally, preparing the earliest possible opportunity for writing a second article called “The Conquered English.” Patriotism cannot afford jingoism just now: it is a luxury for times of peace; and this is a time of peril...
-extracted from an article by Chesterton that appeared in The World To-Day, volume 23 (January 1913-June 1913)

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