Top 45 Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotes

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.


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


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.


The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.


Love means to love that which is unlovable or it is no virtue at all.


I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.


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?


Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.


A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.


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


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.


A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition.


The family is the test of freedom because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.


All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.


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.


Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.


Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.


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.


People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.


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.


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.


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.


A good novel tells us the truth about its hero but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.


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.


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


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


One sees great things from the valley only small things from the peak.


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.


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.


The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.


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.


‘My country, right or wrong’ is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying ‘My mother, drunk or sober.’


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.


Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.


Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.


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.


Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.


Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.


The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense.


The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden heaven is a playground.


The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.


All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.


Brave men are all vertebrates they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.


Women prefer to talk in twos, while men prefer to talk in threes.


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.



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