Quotes by Gilbert K. Chesterton

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Chesterton, G(ilbert) K(eith). Born May 29, 1874, London, England. Died June 14, 1936, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. A British man of letters. Chesterton was a journalist, a scholar, a novelist and short-story writer, and a poet. His works of social and literary criticism include Robert Browning (1903), Charles Dickens (1906), and The Victorian Age in Literature (1913). Even before his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1922, he was interested in theology and religious argument. His fiction includes The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), the popular allegorical novel The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), and his most successful creation, the series of detective novels featuring the priest-sleuth Father Brown. more

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

A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.
But there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
One may understand the Cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.
The old idea that the joke was not good enough for the company has been superseded by the new aristocratic idea that the company was not worthy of the joke. They have introduced an almost insane individualism into that one form of intercourse which is specially and uproariously communal. They have made even levities into secrets. They have made laughter lonelier than tears.
There are no uninteresting things, there are only uninterested people.
The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life.
What people call impartiality may simply mean indifference, and what people call partiality may simply mean mental activity.
One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time.
Evil comes at leisure like the disease. Good comes in a hurry like the doctor.
The full value of this life can only be got by fighting; the violent take it by storm. And if we have accepted everything we have missed something -- war. This life of ours is a very enjoyable fight, but a very miserable truce.
The present condition of fame is merely fashion.
Experience which was once claimed by the aged is now claimed exclusively by the young.
Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.
The cosmos is about the smallest hole that a man can hide his head in.
Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf ;is better than a whole loaf.
White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.
Buddhism is not a creed, it is a doubt.
Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it.
Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
Soldiers have many faults, but they have one redeeming merit; they are never worshippers of force. Soldiers more than any other men are taught severely and systematically that might is not right. The fact is obvious. The might is in the hundred men who obey. The right (or what is held to be right) is in the one man who commands them.
A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or no it is permanent, it claims permanence, like a dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky.
All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
Insincere pessimism is a social accomplishment, rather agreeable than otherwise; and fortunately nearly all pessimism is insincere.
Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours?
There are many definite methods, honest and dishonest, which make people rich; the only instinct I know of which does it is that instinct which theological Christianity crudely describes as the sin of avarice.
If prosperity is regarded as the reward of virtue it will be regarded as the symptom of virtue.
The only argument against losing faith is that you also lose hope and generally charity.