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Gilbert Keith Chesterton

(29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936 / London, England)

Quotations

  • ''The vulgar man is always the most distinguished, for the very desire to be distinguished is vulgar.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Boy," All Things Considered (1908).
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  • ''If prosperity is regarded as the reward of virtue it will be regarded as the symptom of virtue.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Book of Job," G.K.C. as M.C. (1929).
  • ''A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Book of Job," G.K.C. as M.C. (1929).
  • ''Half a truth is better than no politics.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Boy," All Things Considered (1908).
  • ''The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Ratcliffe, in The Man Who Was Thursday, ch. 11 (1908).
  • ''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.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "Spiritualism," All Things Considered (1908).
  • ''A radical generally meant a man who thought he could somehow pull up the root without affecting the flower. A conservative generally meant a man who wanted to conserve everything except his own reason for conserving anything.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Quoted in Illustrated London News (July 3, 1920).
  • ''Buddhism is not a creed, it is a doubt.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Professor de Worms, in The Man Who Was Thursday, ch. 14 (1908).
  • ''The mere brute pleasure of reading—the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Quoted in Dudley Barker, G.K. Chesterton (1973).
  • ''Facts as facts do not always create a spirit of reality, because reality is a spirit.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "On the Classics," Come to Think of It (1930).

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The New Freethinker

John Grubby who was short and stout
And troubled with religious doubt,
Refused about the age of three
To sit upon the curate's knee;
(For so the eternal strife must rage
Between the spirit of the age
And Dogma, which, as is well known,
Does simply hate to be outgrown).
Grubby, the young idea that shoots,

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