Quotations From GILBERT KEITH CHESTERTON


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  • Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. New York Times (Feb. 1, 1931).
  • We are justified in enforcing good morals, for they belong to all mankind; but we are not justified in enforcing good manners, for good manners always mean our own manners.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "Limericks and Counsels of Perfection," All Things Considered (1908).
  • 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 the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking around.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Ethics of England," ch. 4, Orthodoxy (1909).
  • We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Error of Impartiality," All Things Considered (1908).
  • The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Fairy Pickwick," A Shilling for My Thoughts (1916).

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  • Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kid of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "Conceit and Caricature," All Things Considered (1908).
  • The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "Dramatic Unities," Fancies Versus Fads (1923).

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  • All good men are international. Nearly all bad men are cosmopolitan. If we are to be international we must be national.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "French and English," All Things Considered (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).

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  • 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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